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Assessing and correcting for regression toward the mean in deviance-induced social conformity.

Schnuerch R, Schnuerch M, Gibbons H - Front Psychol (2015)

Bottom Line: Additionally, however, we provide conclusive evidence that the paradigm nevertheless captures behavioral effects that can only be attributed to social influence.Finally, we present a mathematical approach that allows to isolate and quantify the paradigm's true conformity effect both at the group level and for each individual participant.Moreover, we support earlier suggestions that distorted behavioral effects can be rectified by means of appropriate correction procedures.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Our understanding of the mechanisms underlying social conformity has recently advanced due to the employment of neuroscience methodology and novel experimental approaches. Most prominently, several studies have demonstrated the role of neural reinforcement-learning processes in conformal adjustments using a specifically designed and frequently replicated paradigm. Only very recently, the validity of the critical behavioral effect in this very paradigm was seriously questioned, as it invites the unwanted contribution of regression toward the mean. Using a straightforward control-group design, we corroborate this recent finding and demonstrate the involvement of statistical distortions. Additionally, however, we provide conclusive evidence that the paradigm nevertheless captures behavioral effects that can only be attributed to social influence. Finally, we present a mathematical approach that allows to isolate and quantify the paradigm's true conformity effect both at the group level and for each individual participant. These data as well as relevant theoretical considerations suggest that the groundbreaking findings regarding the brain mechanisms of social conformity that were obtained with this recently criticized paradigm were indeed valid. Moreover, we support earlier suggestions that distorted behavioral effects can be rectified by means of appropriate correction procedures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Schematic illustration of the structure of trials in the first and second part of the experiment in the Experimental Group. In the Control Group, everything was the same, except that, during the first part, the red frame and number indicating the group’s judgment and its deviation from individual judgment were never shown. Note that this is for demonstration purposes only; different portraits were shown and details are not drawn to scale. Photographs courtesy of David Niblack (www.imagebase.net).
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Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the structure of trials in the first and second part of the experiment in the Experimental Group. In the Control Group, everything was the same, except that, during the first part, the red frame and number indicating the group’s judgment and its deviation from individual judgment were never shown. Note that this is for demonstration purposes only; different portraits were shown and details are not drawn to scale. Photographs courtesy of David Niblack (www.imagebase.net).

Mentions: As depicted in Figure 1, in the first part (initial ratings), participants judged the attractiveness of the female faces on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (not attractive at all) to 6 (very attractive). Participants saw each face and entered their rating by keypress. The response was visualized by a blue square surrounding the corresponding number on the scale depicted below the face. In the Control Group, this display remained on-screen for the next 3500 ms. In the Experimental Group, however, a red square, marking the response of an ostensible group of previous participants, appeared around another or the same number on the scale after 1500 ms. Above the square, a small number indicated the degree of deviation between individual and group judgment. The to-be-evaluated face was constantly shown above the scale and the squares. The whole display was shown for 2000 ms, after which the next trial commenced with a fixation cross. Thus, the same time elapsed between participants’ ratings and the next trial in both groups. Also, the display was almost identical, except for the additional square and the small number indicating the group’s response and deviation in the Experimental Group.


Assessing and correcting for regression toward the mean in deviance-induced social conformity.

Schnuerch R, Schnuerch M, Gibbons H - Front Psychol (2015)

Schematic illustration of the structure of trials in the first and second part of the experiment in the Experimental Group. In the Control Group, everything was the same, except that, during the first part, the red frame and number indicating the group’s judgment and its deviation from individual judgment were never shown. Note that this is for demonstration purposes only; different portraits were shown and details are not drawn to scale. Photographs courtesy of David Niblack (www.imagebase.net).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4440903&req=5

Figure 1: Schematic illustration of the structure of trials in the first and second part of the experiment in the Experimental Group. In the Control Group, everything was the same, except that, during the first part, the red frame and number indicating the group’s judgment and its deviation from individual judgment were never shown. Note that this is for demonstration purposes only; different portraits were shown and details are not drawn to scale. Photographs courtesy of David Niblack (www.imagebase.net).
Mentions: As depicted in Figure 1, in the first part (initial ratings), participants judged the attractiveness of the female faces on a Likert scale ranging from 1 (not attractive at all) to 6 (very attractive). Participants saw each face and entered their rating by keypress. The response was visualized by a blue square surrounding the corresponding number on the scale depicted below the face. In the Control Group, this display remained on-screen for the next 3500 ms. In the Experimental Group, however, a red square, marking the response of an ostensible group of previous participants, appeared around another or the same number on the scale after 1500 ms. Above the square, a small number indicated the degree of deviation between individual and group judgment. The to-be-evaluated face was constantly shown above the scale and the squares. The whole display was shown for 2000 ms, after which the next trial commenced with a fixation cross. Thus, the same time elapsed between participants’ ratings and the next trial in both groups. Also, the display was almost identical, except for the additional square and the small number indicating the group’s response and deviation in the Experimental Group.

Bottom Line: Additionally, however, we provide conclusive evidence that the paradigm nevertheless captures behavioral effects that can only be attributed to social influence.Finally, we present a mathematical approach that allows to isolate and quantify the paradigm's true conformity effect both at the group level and for each individual participant.Moreover, we support earlier suggestions that distorted behavioral effects can be rectified by means of appropriate correction procedures.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, University of Bonn Bonn, Germany.

ABSTRACT
Our understanding of the mechanisms underlying social conformity has recently advanced due to the employment of neuroscience methodology and novel experimental approaches. Most prominently, several studies have demonstrated the role of neural reinforcement-learning processes in conformal adjustments using a specifically designed and frequently replicated paradigm. Only very recently, the validity of the critical behavioral effect in this very paradigm was seriously questioned, as it invites the unwanted contribution of regression toward the mean. Using a straightforward control-group design, we corroborate this recent finding and demonstrate the involvement of statistical distortions. Additionally, however, we provide conclusive evidence that the paradigm nevertheless captures behavioral effects that can only be attributed to social influence. Finally, we present a mathematical approach that allows to isolate and quantify the paradigm's true conformity effect both at the group level and for each individual participant. These data as well as relevant theoretical considerations suggest that the groundbreaking findings regarding the brain mechanisms of social conformity that were obtained with this recently criticized paradigm were indeed valid. Moreover, we support earlier suggestions that distorted behavioral effects can be rectified by means of appropriate correction procedures.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus