A neural marker of costly punishment behavior

Knoch, Daria; Gianotti, Lorena; Baumgartner, Thomas; Fehr, Ernst (2010). A neural marker of costly punishment behavior. Psychological science, 21(3), pp. 337-342. Sage Publications 10.1177/0956797609360750

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Human readiness to incur personal costs to punish norm violators is a key force in the maintenance of social norms. The willingness to punish is, however, characterized by vast individual heterogeneity that is poorly understood. In fact, this heterogeneity has so far defied explanations in terms of individual-level demographic or psychological variables. Here, we use resting electroencephalography, a stable measure of individual differences in cortical activity, to show that a highly specific neural marker--baseline cortical activity in the right prefrontal cortex--predicts individuals' punishment behavior. The analysis of task-independent individual variation in cortical baseline activity provides a new window into the neurobiology of decision making by bringing dispositional neural markers to the forefront of the analysis.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Social Psychology and Social Neuroscience

UniBE Contributor:

Knoch, Daria; Gianotti, Lorena and Baumgartner, Thomas

Subjects:

100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology

ISSN:

0956-7976

Publisher:

Sage Publications

Language:

English

Submitter:

Thomas Baumgartner

Date Deposited:

17 Oct 2014 10:42

Last Modified:

26 Dec 2014 15:28

Publisher DOI:

10.1177/0956797609360750

PubMed ID:

20424065

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.58309

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/58309

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