The Situationist

Posts Tagged ‘Social Neuroscience’

The Situation of Negotiation

Posted by The Situationist Staff on December 1, 2009

John F. McCarthy, Carl A. Scheraga, and Donald E. Gibson, recently posted their interesting paper, titled “Culture, Cognition and Conflict: How Neuroscience Can Help to Explain Cultural Differences in Negotiation and Conflict Management” on SSRN.  Here’s the abstract.

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In negotiation and conflict management situations, understanding cultural patterns and tendencies is critical to whether a negotiation will accomplish the goals of the involved parties. While differences in cultural norms have been identified in the current literature, what is needed is a more fine-grained approach that examines differences below the level of behavioral norms. Drawing on recent social neuroscience approaches, we argue that differing negotiating styles may not only be related to differing cultural norms, but to differences in underlying language processing strategies in the brain, suggesting that cultural difference may influence neuropsychological processes. If this is the case, we expect that individuals from different cultures will exhibit different neuropsychological tendencies. Consistent with our hypothesis, using EEG measured responses, native German-speaking German participants took significantly more time to indicate when they understood a sentence than did native English-speaking American participants. This result is consistent with the theory that individuals from different cultures develop unique language processing strategies that affect behavior. A deliberative cognitive style used by Germans could account for this difference in comprehension reaction time. This study demonstrates that social neuroscience may provide a new way of understanding micro-processes in cross-cultural negotiations and conflict resolution.

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You can download the paper for free here.  For a sample of related Situationist posts, see “Social Neuroscience and the Study of Racial Biases,” “Law & the Brain,” “The Situation of Risk Perceptions – Abstract,”and to review previous Situationist posts on cultural cognition, click here.

Posted in Abstracts, Conflict, Cultural Cognition, Neuroscience | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Social Neuroscience and the Study of Racial Biases

Posted by The Situationist Staff on September 26, 2009

Social Neuroscience

From Eureka Alert:

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Overt expressions of bigotry are relatively infrequent, but current psychological research finds that racial biases often lurk in the unconscious mind, influencing behavior in subtle ways without one’s intent. Under a five-year, $834,000 National Science Foundation CAREER award, New York University Psychology Assistant Professor David Amodio is examining the dynamics of such unconscious, or “implicit,” racial associations, through research that aims to advance our basic understanding of how neural mechanisms of learning and memory function in social behavior. The award is funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Amodio and his colleagues are conducting research that links emotional and conceptual (i.e., stereotyping) forms of implicit racial bias to different systems of learning and memory in the brain. By linking implicit bias to neural processes, he can apply knowledge from existing scholarship on how these systems learn and unlearn, and how they interact with mechanisms for cognition, emotion, and behavior, to obtain a novel perspective on the dynamics of racial prejudice.

Amodio’s research simultaneously addresses two critical sets of questions in cognitive neuroscience and social psychology: One, how are implicit associations in memory represented in the brain and expressed in social behavior?; and, two, how do non-conscious forms of prejudice and stereotyping operate in the mind and behavior, and how can their effects in society be reduced? The integration of ideas and methods from social psychology and cognitive neuroscience, exemplified in Amodio’s project, characterizes the emerging field of social neuroscience.

In conjunction with his research on the neural mechanisms of intergroup bias, Amodio’s award will support the development of a new program for training and research in social neuroscience at NYU, which will build on the university’s existing strengths in social psychology and neuroscience. As a young, but fast-growing field, this program will be among the first of its kind.

As part of the broader educational activities associated with the project, Amodio and his team will engage students and young researchers from underrepresented groups in science and discovery through school visits and opportunities for students to become involved in aspects of the research. The proposed work will capitalize on the vast diversity of New York City, which affords the unique opportunity to reach out to K-12 schools, colleges, and community groups in disadvantaged areas. As a whole, this integrated research and educational plan is designed to promote science and education while redressing racial discrimination.

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To visit the Social Neurosciene Lab webiste, click here.  To review other Situationist posts about neuroscience, click here, for those about implicit associations, click here.

Posted in Education, Emotions, Implicit Associations, Neuroscience | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

 
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