Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

Do You Want Green Eggs and Ham? An EEG analysis of cognitive dissonance and theory of mind

Class

Article

Graduation Year

2017

College

Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services

Department

Psychology Department

Faculty Mentor

Kerry Jordan

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Abstract

Theory of mind, or creating mental models of other individuals with which one interacts socially, is considered a hallmark of human social interaction (Fletcher, et al., 1995). In many social interactions the interest of the individual might conflict with their interacting partners, and so they are found in a social dilemma (Axelrod, 1981). Conflicts in beliefs about oneself and one’s behavior in social dilemmas may lead to cognitive dissonance. While previous research has found that brain regions associated with theory of mind are activated during social dilemmas (Rilling et al., 2007) and how cognitive dissonance is predictive of neural activation changes (Izuma, Matsumoto, Murayama, Samejima, Sadato, & Matsumoto, 2010; Van Veen, Krug, Schooler & Carter, 2009), very few have examined how cognitive dissonance might influence social decisions related to theory of mind and how that might be reflected in neural activity.

Using a novel paradigm derived from the Prisoner’s Dilemma, electroencephalography (EEG) activity was recorded during social dilemma decisions where cognitive dissonance might arise. After rating various food items, participants played an iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma where they chose between less and more preferred food items. Decisions were grouped based on whether the food chosen in the decision-making task saw a rating change in pre-task and post-task ratings. The neural activity between the two categories were compared using a repeated-measures ANOVA. An interaction was found between frontal channels and rating change (p < .05, F(1, 18) = 3.24, η² p = .15), supporting the hypothesis that an increase in cognitive dissonance would indeed influence neural activity and play a role in the social decision-making process. Regions associated with theory of mind did not see such differences (Hein, & Knight 2008), indicating that cognitive dissonance may not depend on activity related to theory of mind, even during theory of mind situations.

Location

South Atrium

Start Date

4-13-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

4-13-2017 1:15 PM

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Apr 13th, 12:00 PM Apr 13th, 1:15 PM

Do You Want Green Eggs and Ham? An EEG analysis of cognitive dissonance and theory of mind

South Atrium

Theory of mind, or creating mental models of other individuals with which one interacts socially, is considered a hallmark of human social interaction (Fletcher, et al., 1995). In many social interactions the interest of the individual might conflict with their interacting partners, and so they are found in a social dilemma (Axelrod, 1981). Conflicts in beliefs about oneself and one’s behavior in social dilemmas may lead to cognitive dissonance. While previous research has found that brain regions associated with theory of mind are activated during social dilemmas (Rilling et al., 2007) and how cognitive dissonance is predictive of neural activation changes (Izuma, Matsumoto, Murayama, Samejima, Sadato, & Matsumoto, 2010; Van Veen, Krug, Schooler & Carter, 2009), very few have examined how cognitive dissonance might influence social decisions related to theory of mind and how that might be reflected in neural activity.

Using a novel paradigm derived from the Prisoner’s Dilemma, electroencephalography (EEG) activity was recorded during social dilemma decisions where cognitive dissonance might arise. After rating various food items, participants played an iterated Prisoner’s Dilemma where they chose between less and more preferred food items. Decisions were grouped based on whether the food chosen in the decision-making task saw a rating change in pre-task and post-task ratings. The neural activity between the two categories were compared using a repeated-measures ANOVA. An interaction was found between frontal channels and rating change (p < .05, F(1, 18) = 3.24, η² p = .15), supporting the hypothesis that an increase in cognitive dissonance would indeed influence neural activity and play a role in the social decision-making process. Regions associated with theory of mind did not see such differences (Hein, & Knight 2008), indicating that cognitive dissonance may not depend on activity related to theory of mind, even during theory of mind situations.