Publication
Title
Neural asymmetry in aligning with generous versus selfish descriptive norms in a charitable donation task
Author
Abstract
Social alignment is supported by the brain's reward system (ventral striatum), presumably because attaining synchrony generates feelings of connectedness. However, this may hold only for aligning with generous others, while aligning with selfishness might threaten social connectedness. We investigated this postulated asymmetry in an incentivized fMRI charitable donation task. Participants decided how much of their endowment to donate to real charities, and how much to keep for themselves. Compared to a baseline condition, donations significantly increased or decreased in function of the presence of descriptive norms. The fMRI data reveal that processing selfish norms (more than generous ones) recruited the amygdala and anterior insula. Aligning with selfish norms correlated on average with reduced activity in the lateral prefrontal cortex (LPFC) and, at the individual level, with decreasing activity in the ventral striatum (VS). Conversely, as participants aligned more with generous norms, they showed increasing activity in the LPFC and, on average, increased activity in the VS. This increase occurred beyond the increased VS activity which was also observed in the baseline condition. Taken together, this suggests that aligning with generosity, while effortful, provides a "warm glow of herding" associated with collective giving, but that aligning with selfishness does not.
Language
English
Source (journal)
Scientific reports. - London, 2011, currens
Publication
London : Nature Publishing Group , 2024
ISSN
2045-2322
DOI
10.1038/S41598-024-55688-0
Volume/pages
14 :1 (2024) , p. 1-14
Article Reference
5793
ISI
001185505600007
Pubmed ID
38461360
Full text (Publisher's DOI)
Full text (open access)
UAntwerpen
Faculty/Department
Research group
Project info
On the malleability of fairness norms: the role of social values, wise reasoning, power asymmetry, and inter-group conflict.
Publication type
Subject
Affiliation
Publications with a UAntwerp address
External links
Web of Science
Record
Identifier
Creation 02.05.2024
Last edited 08.05.2024
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