To agree or to disagree? An fMRI investigation into the modulating effects of expertise and individual differences on disagreement

Taing, Sreyneth (2014). To agree or to disagree? An fMRI investigation into the modulating effects of expertise and individual differences on disagreement Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

       
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Author Taing, Sreyneth
Thesis Title To agree or to disagree? An fMRI investigation into the modulating effects of expertise and individual differences on disagreement
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2014-10-08
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Pascal Molenberghs
Total pages 73
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Abstract/Summary People often find it hard to disagree with others, but how this effect is modulated by the expertise of the messenger and individual differences has yet to be understood. To address this and to attain a better understanding of the phenomenon, the current study investigated the neural mechanisms underlying disagreement using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Participants in the current study were scanned while they rated whether trivia statements made by high (professor) or low (student) experts were true or false. Contrary to predictions, behavioural results revealed that there was no difference in true and false ratings, as well as no difference in the proportion of these ratings for high compared to low experts. In line with this, fMRI data revealed no significant difference in brain activation for the main effect of truthfulness and expertise, as well as no significant interaction. In contrast, the results did reveal that there are individual differences that moderate how individuals perceive disagreement. Specifically, regression analysis revealed that participants who rarely said false showed greater activation in the medial prefrontal cortex extending into the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex, lateral orbitofrontal cortex, and left angular gyrus, when they did rate a statement as false. The selective activation of neural networks, apparent in only some participants, supports the notion that disagreement is modulated by individual differences. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings are discussed.
Keyword fMRI
Disagreement
Individual differences

 
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Created: Wed, 10 Jun 2015, 12:09:46 EST by Louise Grainger on behalf of School of Psychology