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How conformity can lead to polarised social behaviour

Abstract : Learning social behaviour of others strongly influences one's own social attitudes. We compare several distinct explanations of this phenomenon, testing their predictions using computational modelling across four experimental conditions. In the experiment, participants chose repeatedly whether to pay for increasing (prosocial) or decreasing (antisocial) the earnings of an unknown other. Halfway through the task, participants predicted the choices of an extremely prosocial or antisocial agent (either a computer, a single participant, or a group of participants). Our analyses indicate that participants polarise their social attitude mainly due to normative expectations. Specifically, most participants conform to presumed demands by the authority (vertical influence), or because they learn that the observed human agents follow the norm very closely (horizontal influence).
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Submitted on : Wednesday, December 15, 2021 - 9:53:35 AM
Last modification on : Friday, August 5, 2022 - 11:57:30 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Wednesday, March 16, 2022 - 6:21:23 PM


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Folco Panizza, Alexander Vostroknutov, Giorgio Coricelli. How conformity can lead to polarised social behaviour. PLoS Computational Biology, 2021, 17 (10), ⟨10.1371/journal.pcbi.1009530⟩. ⟨hal-03481031⟩



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