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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Learning from ingroup experiences changes intergroup impressions
Organization Unit
  • Yuqing Zhou
  • Björn Lindström
  • Alexander Soutschek
  • Pyungwon Kang
  • Philippe Tobler
  • Grit Hein
Item Subtype Original Work
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Journal of Neuroscience
Publisher Society for Neuroscience
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0270-6474
Volume 42
Number 36
Page Range 6931 - 6945
Date 2022
Abstract Text Humans form impressions toward individuals of their own social groups (ingroup members) and of different social groups (outgroup members). Outgroup-focused theories predict that intergroup impressions are mainly shaped by experiences with outgroup individuals, while ingroup-focused theories predict that ingroup experiences play a dominant role. Here we test predictions from these two psychological theories by estimating how intergroup impressions are dynamically shaped when people learn from both ingroup and outgroup experiences. While undergoing fMRI, male participants had identical experiences with different ingroup or outgroup members and rated their social closeness and impressions toward the ingroup and the outgroup. Behavioral results showed an initial ingroup bias in impression ratings which was significantly reduced over the course of learning, with larger effects in individuals with stronger ingroup identification. Computational learning models revealed that these changes in intergroup impressions were predicted by the weight given to ingroup prediction errors. Neurally, the individual weight for ingroup prediction errors was related to the coupling between the left inferior parietal lobule and the left anterior insula, which, in turn, predicted learning-related changes in intergroup impressions. Our findings provide computational and neural evidence for ingroup-focused theories, highlighting the importance of ingroup experiences in shaping social impressions in intergroup settings.
Free access at DOI
Digital Object Identifier 10.1523/jneurosci.0027-22.2022
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Keywords General neuroscience