Social Cognitive Neuroscience Essay Assignment
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Social Cognitive Neuroscience Essay Assignment
Power Changes How the Brain Responds to Others
Jeremy Hogeveen Wilfrid Laurier University
Michael Inzlicht University of Toronto Scarborough
Sukhvinder S. Obhi Wilfrid Laurier University
Power dynamics are a ubiquitous feature of human social life, yet little is known about how power is implemented in the brain. Motor resonance is the activation of similar brain networks when acting and when watching someone else act, and is thought to be implemented, in part, by the human mirror system. We investigated the effects of power on motor resonance during an action observation task. Separate groups of participants underwent a high-, neutral, or low-power induction priming procedure, prior to observing the actions of another person. During observation, motor resonance was determined with transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) via measures of motor cortical output. High-power participants demonstrated lower levels of resonance than low-power participants, suggesting reduced mirroring of other people in those with power. These differences suggest that decreased motor resonance to others’ actions might be one of the neural mechanisms underlying power-induced asymmetries in processing our social interaction partners.
Keywords: power, motor resonance, human mirror system, TMS, social cognitive neuroscience
The profound evolution of primate neocortex was influenced by the computational demands of living in a complex social environ- ment (Dunbar & Shultz, 2007). For primates, a key factor creating structure within the social environment is power. In nonhuman primates, an animal’s power is partly determined by the degree to which they dominate conspecifics. Those that are able to exert dominance over others gain greater access to valuable resources like food and potential mates (Dunbar, 1980; Lewis, 2002; Watts, 2010). In human societies, power similarly creates “dependence asymmetries,” wherein the powerless depend heavily on the pow- erful for resources, whereas the powerful enjoy relatively unabated access to resources (Russell & Fiske, 2010). This asymmetry results in differences in how the powerful and the powerless
process other individuals. Despite what we know about the effects of power on social information processing, the majority of the evidence is indirect, and the mechanisms underlying power’s in- fluence remain a mystery. To begin to address this issue, we used transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) to provide a direct and online measure of power’s impact on how the brain responds to observed action.
The Psychological Impact of Power
The psychological literature on power indicates a reliable rela- tionship between power and information processing style (Ames, Rose, & Anderson, 2006; Fiske, 1993; Fiske & Dépret, 1996; Guinote, 2007a, 2007b; Obhi, Swiderski, & Brubacher, 2012; Smith & Trope, 2006; van Kleef et al., 2008). High-power indi- viduals are able to ignore peripheral information and focus on task relevant details, thereby improving goal pursuit (Guinote, 2007a, 2007b), cognitive flexibility (Smith & Trope, 2006), and executive functioning (Smith, Jostmann, Galinsky, & van Dijk, 2008). Therefore, when powerful individuals ignore peripheral informa- tion during a nonsocial task, it may improve their performance. Conversely, when the powerful ignore “peripheral” information in social settings, the outcome can be quite negative from the per- spective of the powerless.
The powerful, because they already control resources, tend not to process individuating information about the less powerful. In contrast, the powerless, because they do not control resources, are motivated to process individuating information about the powerful (Fiske & Dépret, 1996; Goodwin, Gubin, Fiske, & Yzerbyt, 2000). Power-driven differences in the processing of others are also evident in the inability of high-power-primed participants to take the visual, cognitive, and emotional perspectives of others, relative to participants who feel relatively powerless (Anderson, Keltner,
Editor’s Note. Mauricio Delgado served as the action editor for this article.—IG
This article was published Online First July 1, 2013. Jeremy Hogeveen, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience and Department
of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada; Michael Inzlicht, Department of Psychology, University of Toronto Scar- borough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada; Sukhvinder S. Obhi, Centre for Cog- nitive Neuroscience and Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier Uni- versity.
This research was made possible by research grants from the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council and the Social Science and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), held by Sukhvinder S. Obhi, and an SSHRC Canada Graduate Scholarship awarded to Jeremy Hogeveen.
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Sukhvin- der S. Obhi, Department of Psychology, Wilfrid Laurier University, 75 University Avenue West, Waterloo, Ontario, N2L 3C5, Canada. E-mail: email@example.com
Social Cognitive Neuroscience Essay Assignment
QUALITY OF RESPONSE NO RESPONSE POOR / UNSATISFACTORY SATISFACTORY GOOD EXCELLENT Content (worth a maximum of 50% of the total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 20 points out of 50: The essay illustrates poor understanding of the relevant material by failing to address or incorrectly addressing the relevant content; failing to identify or inaccurately explaining/defining key concepts/ideas; ignoring or incorrectly explaining key points/claims and the reasoning behind them; and/or incorrectly or inappropriately using terminology; and elements of the response are lacking. 30 points out of 50: The essay illustrates a rudimentary understanding of the relevant material by mentioning but not full explaining the relevant content; identifying some of the key concepts/ideas though failing to fully or accurately explain many of them; using terminology, though sometimes inaccurately or inappropriately; and/or incorporating some key claims/points but failing to explain the reasoning behind them or doing so inaccurately. Elements of the required response may also be lacking. 40 points out of 50: The essay illustrates solid understanding of the relevant material by correctly addressing most of the relevant content; identifying and explaining most of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology; explaining the reasoning behind most of the key points/claims; and/or where necessary or useful, substantiating some points with accurate examples. The answer is complete. 50 points: The essay illustrates exemplary understanding of the relevant material by thoroughly and correctly addressing the relevant content; identifying and explaining all of the key concepts/ideas; using correct terminology explaining the reasoning behind key points/claims and substantiating, as necessary/useful, points with several accurate and illuminating examples. No aspects of the required answer are missing. Use of Sources (worth a maximum of 20% of the total points). Zero points: Student failed to include citations and/or references. Or the student failed to submit a final paper. 5 out 20 points: Sources are seldom cited to support statements and/or format of citations are not recognizable as APA 6th Edition format. There are major errors in the formation of the references and citations. And/or there is a major reliance on highly questionable. The Student fails to provide an adequate synthesis of research collected for the paper. 10 out 20 points: References to scholarly sources are occasionally given; many statements seem unsubstantiated. Frequent errors in APA 6th Edition format, leaving the reader confused about the source of the information. There are significant errors of the formation in the references and citations. And/or there is a significant use of highly questionable sources. 15 out 20 points: Credible Scholarly sources are used effectively support claims and are, for the most part, clear and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition is used with only a few minor errors. There are minor errors in reference and/or citations. And/or there is some use of questionable sources. 20 points: Credible scholarly sources are used to give compelling evidence to support claims and are clearly and fairly represented. APA 6th Edition format is used accurately and consistently. The student uses above the maximum required references in the development of the assignment. Grammar (worth maximum of 20% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 5 points out of 20: The paper does not communicate ideas/points clearly due to inappropriate use of terminology and vague language; thoughts and sentences are disjointed or incomprehensible; organization lacking; and/or numerous grammatical, spelling/punctuation errors 10 points out 20: The paper is often unclear and difficult to follow due to some inappropriate terminology and/or vague language; ideas may be fragmented, wandering and/or repetitive; poor organization; and/or some grammatical, spelling, punctuation errors 15 points out of 20: The paper is mostly clear as a result of appropriate use of terminology and minimal vagueness; no tangents and no repetition; fairly good organization; almost perfect grammar, spelling, punctuation, and word usage. 20 points: The paper is clear, concise, and a pleasure to read as a result of appropriate and precise use of terminology; total coherence of thoughts and presentation and logical organization; and the essay is error free. Structure of the Paper (worth 10% of total points) Zero points: Student failed to submit the final paper. 3 points out of 10: Student needs to develop better formatting skills. The paper omits significant structural elements required for and APA 6th edition paper. Formatting of the paper has major flaws. The paper does not conform to APA 6th edition requirements whatsoever. 5 points out of 10: Appearance of final paper demonstrates the student’s limited ability to format the paper. There are significant errors in formatting and/or the total omission of major components of an APA 6th edition paper. They can include the omission of the cover page, abstract, and page numbers. Additionally the page has major formatting issues with spacing or paragraph formation. Font size might not conform to size requirements. The student also significantly writes too large or too short of and paper 7 points out of 10: Research paper presents an above-average use of formatting skills. The paper has slight errors within the paper. This can include small errors or omissions with the cover page, abstract, page number, and headers. There could be also slight formatting issues with the document spacing or the font Additionally the paper might slightly exceed or undershoot the specific number of required written pages for the assignment. 10 points: Student provides a high-caliber, formatted paper. This includes an APA 6th edition cover page, abstract, page number, headers and is double spaced in 12’ Times Roman Font. Additionally, the paper conforms to the specific number of required written pages and neither goes over or under the specified length of the paper.
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