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The neuroscience of social conformity: implications for fundamental and applied research

By Mirre eStallen and Alan eSanfey and Alan eSanfey

Abstract

The development of closer ties between researchers and practitioners in the domain of behavior and behavioral change offers useful opportunities for better informing public policy campaigns via a deeper understanding of the psychological processes that operate in real-world decision-making. Here, we focus on the domain of social conformity, and suggest that the recent emergence of laboratory work using neuroscientific techniques to probe the brain basis of social influence can prove a useful source of data to better inform models of conformity. In particular, we argue that this work can have an important role to play in better understanding the specific mechanisms at work in social conformity, in both validating and extending current psychological theories of this process, and in assessing how behavioral change can take place as a result of exposure to the judgments of others. We conclude by outlining some promising future directions in this domain, and indicating how this research could potentially be usefully applied to policy issues

Topics: Decision Making, functional magnetic resonance imaging, Social Conformity, behavioral change, Policy implications, Neurosciences. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry, RC321-571
Publisher: Frontiers Media S.A.
Year: 2015
DOI identifier: 10.3389/fnins.2015.00337
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:609c27446b5f4be7b38a6c2c36590d3a
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