How conformity can lead to polarised social behaviour

F. Panizza*, A. Vostroknutov, G. Coricelli

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Learning social behaviour of others strongly influences one’s own social attitudes. We com-pare several distinct explanations of this phenomenon, testing their predictions using computational modelling across four experimental conditions. In the experiment, participants chose repeatedly whether to pay for increasing (prosocial) or decreasing (antisocial) the earnings of an unknown other. Halfway through the task, participants predicted the choices of an extremely prosocial or antisocial agent (either a computer, a single participant, or a group of participants). Our analyses indicate that participants polarise their social attitude mainly due to normative expectations. Specifically, most participants conform to presumed demands by the authority (vertical influence), or because they learn that the observed human agents follow the norm very closely (horizontal influence)
Original languageEnglish
Article number1009530
Number of pages27
JournalPLoS Computational Biology
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2021

Keywords

  • MEDIAL PREFRONTAL CORTEX
  • DICTATOR GAME
  • CHOICE
  • NORMS
  • MODEL
  • PREFERENCES
  • COMPUTATION
  • RECIPROCITY
  • CONTAGION
  • ALTRUISM

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