Group membership dictates the neural correlates of social optimism biases

Dricu, Mihai; Schüpbach, Laurent; Bristle, Mirko David Tobias; Wiest, Roland; Moser, Dominik; Aue, Tatjana (2020). Group membership dictates the neural correlates of social optimism biases. Scientific reports, 10(1), p. 1139. Springer Nature 10.1038/s41598-020-58121-4

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Optimism bias, i.e. expecting the future to hold more desirable than undesirable outcomes, also extends to people that we like or admire. However, it remains unknown how the brain generates this social optimism bias. In this study, respondents estimated the likelihood of future desirable and undesirable outcomes for an in-group and three out-groups: warm-incompetent, cold-competent, and cold-incompetent. We found a strong social optimism bias for the in-group and the warm out-group and an inverted pattern for the cold-incompetent out-group. For all groups, scores of social optimism bias correlated with the brain activity in structures that respondents differentially engaged depending on the target social group. In line with our hypotheses, evaluating the in-group recruited the ventromedial prefrontal cortex and the precuneus/posterior cingulate cortex, whereas evaluating the warm out-group engaged the posterior insula, mid cingulate cortex, and somatosensory cortices. These findings suggest different underlying cognitive mechanisms of social optimism bias for these groups, despite similar behavioral patterns. Thinking about the cold out-groups recruited the right anterior temporal pole and temporoparietal junction. Evaluating the cold-incompetent out-group additionally recruited the anterior insula, dorsomedial frontal cortex, and inferior frontal cortex. We discuss these neuroimaging findings with respect to their putative cognitive functions.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Radiology, Neuroradiology and Nuclear Medicine (DRNN) > Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Neuroradiology

UniBE Contributor:

Dricu, Mihai; Schüpbach, Laurent; Bristle, Mirko David Tobias; Wiest, Roland; Moser, Dominik and Aue, Tatjana

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health

ISSN:

2045-2322

Publisher:

Springer Nature

Funders:

[4] Swiss National Science Foundation

Language:

English

Submitter:

Tatjana Aue

Date Deposited:

29 Jan 2020 09:53

Last Modified:

02 Feb 2020 02:53

Publisher DOI:

10.1038/s41598-020-58121-4

PubMed ID:

31980697

Uncontrolled Keywords:

social optimism bias; fMRI; stereotype content model; warmth; competence; in-group; out-group; social identification

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.138139

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/138139

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