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Index – Science – What happens in the brain when we change our opinions?

In our social interactions, we often encounter opinions that differ from our own. In situations like this, sometimes we choose to stick with our position and other times we change our opinions. Solomon Ash’s famous psychosocial experiment examined this behavior in the 1950s.

Subjects were shown cards with lines of different lengths and only had to select lines of equal length. There were obvious differences and built people: the real experimental person had six built people who gave bad answers. The shocking result was that a large percentage of people identified the answer that seemed wrong, if those around them said so.

Based on this, Asch concluded that confident and individualistic people cannot be affected as easily as insecure and insecure people (who do not dare to believe with their own eyes).

So one of the key factors in making a decision is self-confidence: the less we believe in our original opinion, the more likely we are to change our opinions. The way different opinions are processed is influenced by a number of factors, some of which have nothing to do with the correctness of the response, such as the desire to integrate into the group.

There are two types of influences on decisions and changes of opinion. The information effect occurs when we change our attitude towards others in order to provide an accurate answer, and in the case of normative influence, we modify our decision for reasons independent of accuracy. For example, because of the desire for admission or integration. Interestingly, although information and normative factors often compete directly with each other, they still lead to similar behavioral responses.

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When we change our minds, it’s always social
Effect
Happens: We get new information (from someone) that changes our attitude. But we are not necessarily convinced by the new knowledge, the communicator is usually given more weight. In the brain, the two types of social influence – informational and normative – are not equally manifested.

That’s the main conclusion of an exciting study published by Ali Al Mahmoudi, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford, in early March. The essence of the experiment, led by Mahmoud, was that the scientists showed the volunteers a computer game, and the participants had to remember where a certain point appeared on the screen. Their responses were rated on an uncertain emphasizing scale and then allowed to change their mind if they consulted with a computer or person.

During the experiment, brain activity was measured by magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance imaging.

Yet, as in Asch’s experiments, it turns out that people are better off believing in another person, or in a computer, if they weren’t very confident at first. In the brain, the activity of the cingulate cortex (i.e. Brodmann’s cortical domain 32) results in a change in decision, and this area of ​​the brain is also responsible for reasoning and defect detection. But the study also showed that participants tended to be more accepting of each other’s opinions when they were in a mutualistic relationship. This normative effect and cingulate cortex-related activity only occur when participants believe the partner is a human rather than a machine. The anterior cingulate cortex appears to assess the weight of others’ opinions in social interaction and processes human advice and artificial intelligence at the information level. However, if we are in a reciprocal relationship with the other, the partner’s ability to influence increases and the opinion of the artificial intelligence is not worthy of a tree.

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(Cover Image: Ryan Pyle/Corbis/Getty Images)