Title

Social deviance activates the brain's error-monitoring system

Document Type

Journal Article

Role

author

Standard Number

1530-7026

Journal Title

Cognitive, Affective, and Behavioral Neuroscience

Volume

12

Issue

1

First Page

65

Last Page

73

Publication Date

2012

Abstract

Social psychologists have long noted the tendency for human behavior to conform to social group norms. This study examined whether feedback indicating that participants had deviated from group norms would elicit a neural signal previously shown to be elicited by errors and monetary losses. While electroencephalograms were recorded, participants (N = 30) rated the attractiveness of 120 faces and received feedback giving the purported average rating made by a group of peers. The feedback was manipulated so that group ratings either were the same as a participant's rating or deviated by 1, 2, or 3 points. Feedback indicating deviance from the group norm elicited a feedback-related negativity, a brainwave signal known to be elicited by objective performance errors and losses. The results imply that the brain treats deviance from social norms as an error. -- author-supplied description

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