Social conformity refers to the tendency to align one’s own behaviors, beliefs and values to those of others. Little is known about social influence coming from a minority group. To test whether social pressure from sexual minorities triggers avoidance-motivated behaviors, we explored how being influenced by the preferences of gay peers modifies the behavioral and neural reactivity of individuals defined as in- vs. out- groups on the basis of sexual orientation. To this aim, we combined fMRI with a social conformity paradigm in which heterosexual and gay/bisexual (hereafter non-exclusively heterosexual, NEH) individuals provided with male body attractiveness ratings by a fictitious group of gay students may or may not alter their previous rating and may or may not conform to the mean. Behaviorally, conformity to the minority preference was found in in-group NEH more than in out-group heterosexuals. Analysis of BOLD signal showed that social pressure brought about increased brain activity in frontal and parietal regions associated with the detection of social conflict. These results show that members of a sexual majority group display a smaller level of conformity when a sexual minority group exerts social influence. However, the neural correlates of this modulation are yet to be clarified.

An fMRI study on the neural correlates of social conformity to a sexual minority

Liuzza MT
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
2019-01-01

Abstract

Social conformity refers to the tendency to align one’s own behaviors, beliefs and values to those of others. Little is known about social influence coming from a minority group. To test whether social pressure from sexual minorities triggers avoidance-motivated behaviors, we explored how being influenced by the preferences of gay peers modifies the behavioral and neural reactivity of individuals defined as in- vs. out- groups on the basis of sexual orientation. To this aim, we combined fMRI with a social conformity paradigm in which heterosexual and gay/bisexual (hereafter non-exclusively heterosexual, NEH) individuals provided with male body attractiveness ratings by a fictitious group of gay students may or may not alter their previous rating and may or may not conform to the mean. Behaviorally, conformity to the minority preference was found in in-group NEH more than in out-group heterosexuals. Analysis of BOLD signal showed that social pressure brought about increased brain activity in frontal and parietal regions associated with the detection of social conflict. These results show that members of a sexual majority group display a smaller level of conformity when a sexual minority group exerts social influence. However, the neural correlates of this modulation are yet to be clarified.
File in questo prodotto:
Non ci sono file associati a questo prodotto.

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12317/58290
 Attenzione

Attenzione! I dati visualizzati non sono stati sottoposti a validazione da parte dell'ateneo

Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus 5
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? 4
social impact