In working package 4, we investigate brain mechanisms underlying social influence. In particular, we inspect effects of group norms and expert opinion on neural responses in adolescent and adult participants with magnetoencephalography (MEG). The roles of social identity, theory of mind, critical thinking and other individual properties are in this study as well.
Our judgements and decisions in everyday situations emerge as a result of not only analytical thinking and objective processing of all available information. In contrast, Individuals’ opinion and behaviour is mostly influenced by others’ opinions and behaviour. According to prior studies, people conform to group norms because they process agreement and disagreement to others as reward or punishment, respectively. Emotional engagement with in-group members causes people to perceive peer endorsements more persuasive and rewarding than out-group members. The knowledge and proficiency of experts, on the other hand, serves to acquire accurate information and adaptive responses.
In our first experiment, we will study the behavioural and neuronal effects of normative (peers) and informative influence (experts) to figure out how adolescents act when face with real world choices.