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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

Effects of the social-deviance manipulation on individual judgment at the group level and for each participant. (A) Rating changes as a function of the deviation of group judgment from participants’ initial judgment in the Experimental Group, that is, when group judgment is actually presented. (B) Rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group, that is, when no group judgment is ever shown. (C) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Experimental Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (D) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (E) Individual conformal tendencies for all participants in the Experimental Group, shown as uncorrected and corrected conformity scores. Conformity scores are Fisher-z-transformed within-subject correlations between the group’s deviation and (corrected or uncorrected) rating changes (see Application of the Correction Formula for details). Error bars in all panels (A–E) depict the 95% confidence interval of the mean.
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Figure 2: Effects of the social-deviance manipulation on individual judgment at the group level and for each participant. (A) Rating changes as a function of the deviation of group judgment from participants’ initial judgment in the Experimental Group, that is, when group judgment is actually presented. (B) Rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group, that is, when no group judgment is ever shown. (C) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Experimental Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (D) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (E) Individual conformal tendencies for all participants in the Experimental Group, shown as uncorrected and corrected conformity scores. Conformity scores are Fisher-z-transformed within-subject correlations between the group’s deviation and (corrected or uncorrected) rating changes (see Application of the Correction Formula for details). Error bars in all panels (A–E) depict the 95% confidence interval of the mean.

Mentions: In both groups, rating changes depended on the [previously presented (Experimental Group) or drawn, but not presented (Control Group)] deviation of group judgment from individual judgment, as shown by a main effect of Deviation on rating changes [F(2,104) = 80.045, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.590, ε = 0.794]. This effect was further modulated by the group, as indicated by the significant interaction Deviation × Group [F(2,104) = 13.077, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.190, ε = 0.794]. To assess the size of the group-level effect for each group, we performed separate follow-up ANOVAs. As expected, the effect of Deviation on rating changes was larger in the Experimental Group [F(2,52) = 52.777, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.658, ε = 0.768] than in the Control Group [F(2,52) = 28.562, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.497, ε = 0.822]. As the two groups differed only in regard to the social-deviance manipulation, while most likely containing the same degree of RTM, there must have been an effect of this manipulation that exceeded the mere RTM effect in the Experimental Group. Figures 2A,B display descriptives for the two groups.


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

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

Effects of the social-deviance manipulation on individual judgment at the group level and for each participant. (A) Rating changes as a function of the deviation of group judgment from participants’ initial judgment in the Experimental Group, that is, when group judgment is actually presented. (B) Rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group, that is, when no group judgment is ever shown. (C) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Experimental Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (D) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (E) Individual conformal tendencies for all participants in the Experimental Group, shown as uncorrected and corrected conformity scores. Conformity scores are Fisher-z-transformed within-subject correlations between the group’s deviation and (corrected or uncorrected) rating changes (see Application of the Correction Formula for details). Error bars in all panels (A–E) depict the 95% confidence interval of the mean.
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

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

Figure 2: Effects of the social-deviance manipulation on individual judgment at the group level and for each participant. (A) Rating changes as a function of the deviation of group judgment from participants’ initial judgment in the Experimental Group, that is, when group judgment is actually presented. (B) Rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group, that is, when no group judgment is ever shown. (C) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Experimental Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (D) Corrected rating changes as a function of preceding group deviation in the Control Group. The correction was performed using the formula presented in Section “Rationale and Derivation of the Correction Formula.” (E) Individual conformal tendencies for all participants in the Experimental Group, shown as uncorrected and corrected conformity scores. Conformity scores are Fisher-z-transformed within-subject correlations between the group’s deviation and (corrected or uncorrected) rating changes (see Application of the Correction Formula for details). Error bars in all panels (A–E) depict the 95% confidence interval of the mean.
Mentions: In both groups, rating changes depended on the [previously presented (Experimental Group) or drawn, but not presented (Control Group)] deviation of group judgment from individual judgment, as shown by a main effect of Deviation on rating changes [F(2,104) = 80.045, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.590, ε = 0.794]. This effect was further modulated by the group, as indicated by the significant interaction Deviation × Group [F(2,104) = 13.077, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.190, ε = 0.794]. To assess the size of the group-level effect for each group, we performed separate follow-up ANOVAs. As expected, the effect of Deviation on rating changes was larger in the Experimental Group [F(2,52) = 52.777, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.658, ε = 0.768] than in the Control Group [F(2,52) = 28.562, p < 0.001, η2G = 0.497, ε = 0.822]. As the two groups differed only in regard to the social-deviance manipulation, while most likely containing the same degree of RTM, there must have been an effect of this manipulation that exceeded the mere RTM effect in the Experimental Group. Figures 2A,B display descriptives for the two groups.

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