Do you feel my pain? Racial group membership modulates empathic neural responses.
ABSTRACT The pain matrix including the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) mediates not only first person pain experience but also empathy for others' pain. It remains unknown, however, whether empathic neural responses of the pain matrix are modulated by racial in-group/out-group relationship. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging we demonstrate that, whereas painful stimulations applied to racial in-group faces induced increased activations in the ACC and inferior frontal/insula cortex in both Caucasians and Chinese, the empathic neural response in the ACC decreased significantly when participants viewed faces of other races. Our findings uncover neural mechanisms of an empathic bias toward racial in-group members.
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ABSTRACT: Ingroup favoritism-the tendency to favor members of one's own group over those in other groups-is well documented, but the mechanisms driving this behavior are not well understood. In particular, it is unclear to what extent ingroup favoritism is driven by preferences concerning the welfare of ingroup over outgroup members, vs. beliefs about the behavior of ingroup and outgroup members. In this review we analyze research on ingroup favoritism in economic games, identifying key gaps in the literature and providing suggestions on how future work can incorporate these insights to shed further light on when, why, and how ingroup favoritism occurs. In doing so, we demonstrate how social psychological theory and research can be integrated with findings from behavioral economics, providing new theoretical and methodological directions for future research.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 02/2015; 9:15. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2015.00015 · 4.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Social suffering is distress engendered by cultural, social, and political forces. Responses to stories of such suffering serve as rejoinders in an identity negotiation process and can foster either healing or compounded distress—for both individuals and communities alike. Because there is no published study (to our knowledge) that focuses on the language individuals use in responding to stories of social suffering, the present study aimed to develop a theoretically grounded and empirically derived taxonomy of these responses. In order to develop and validate such a taxonomy, we collected a total of 172 audio-recorded responses to two true stories of race-based social suffering from two samples of undergraduate students at a large university in the greater Los Angeles area. The resulting coding scheme is presented here along with evidence of its reliability and validity.Journal of Language and Social Psychology 04/2015; DOI:10.1177/0261927X15580595 · 1.04 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: One route to understanding the thoughts and feelings of others is by mentally putting one's self in their shoes and seeing the world from their perspective, i.e., by simulation. Simulation is potentially used not only for inferring how others feel, but also for predicting how we ourselves will feel in the future. For instance, one might judge the worth of a future reward by simulating how much it will eventually be enjoyed. In intertemporal choices between smaller immediate and larger delayed rewards, it is observed that as the length of delay increases, delayed rewards lose subjective value; a phenomenon known as temporal discounting. In this article, we develop a theoretical framework for the proposition that simulation mechanisms involved in empathizing with others also underlie intertemporal choices. This framework yields a testable psychological account of temporal discounting based on simulation. Such an account, if experimentally validated, could have important implications for how simulation mechanisms are investigated, and makes predictions about special populations characterized by putative deficits in simulating others.Frontiers in Neuroscience 04/2015; 9. DOI:10.3389/fnins.2015.00094