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Stronger Prejudices Are Associated With Decreased Model-Based Control

Sebold, M; Chen, H; Önal, A; Kuitunen-Paul, S; Mojtahedzadeh, N; Garbusow, M; Nebe, S; ... Heinz, A; + view all (2022) Stronger Prejudices Are Associated With Decreased Model-Based Control. Frontiers in Psychology , 12 , Article 767022. 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767022. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Prejudices against minorities can be understood as habitually negative evaluations that are kept in spite of evidence to the contrary. Therefore, individuals with strong prejudices might be dominated by habitual or “automatic” reactions at the expense of more controlled reactions. Computational theories suggest individual differences in the balance between habitual/model-free and deliberative/model-based decision-making. Methods: 127 subjects performed the two Step task and completed the blatant and subtle prejudice scale. Results: By using analyses of choices and reaction times in combination with computational modeling, subjects with stronger blatant prejudices showed a shift away from model-based control. There was no association between these decision-making processes and subtle prejudices. Conclusion: These results support the idea that blatant prejudices toward minorities are related to a relative dominance of habitual decision-making. This finding has important implications for developing interventions that target to change prejudices across societies.

Type: Article
Title: Stronger Prejudices Are Associated With Decreased Model-Based Control
Location: Switzerland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2021.767022
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2022 Sebold, Chen, Önal, Kuitunen-Paul, Mojtahedzadeh, Garbusow, Nebe, Wittchen, Huys, Schlagenhauf, Rapp, Smolka and Heinz. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: computational modeling, decision-making, immigrant, reinforcement learning, social behavior, subtle and blatant prejudice
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Division of Psychiatry
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10142738
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