Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1405319
 


 



The Influence of Social Group and Context on Punishment Decisions: Insights from Social Neuroscience


Lasana T. Harris


New York University (NYU) - Department of Psychology

May 21, 2009

Gruter Institute Squaw Valley Conference 2009: Law, Behavior & the Brain

Abstract:     
Social psychology has argued that social factors influence some evil behavior (Fiske, et al., 2004). Obedience to authority (Milgram, 1974), conformity (Asch, 1948), and other forms of social influence (Darley & Latane, 1968; Zimbardo, 1971) cause people to unknowingly and unwillingly behave immorally. Nonetheless, punish decisions are motivated by desires to deter, revenge, and restoration (Carlsmith, et al., 2002), and altruistic punishment reinforces social norms (Fehr & Gachter, 2000). Neuroscience research has begun to reveal neural correlates of these decisions suggesting that cognitive and affective factors influence decisions to trust and punish (Seymour, Singer, & Dolan, 2006). In the context of economic games, people trust perceived immoral and disgusting groups less, punish them more, and punishment less on their behalf, for the same transgressions. Furthermore, perceived moral status and responsibility for moral status interact to affect punishment decision, possibly mediated by affective signals inherent to the transgressor. These data suggest that punishment decision makers should be aware of the fundamental attribution error of attributing behavior to the mind of the social target, paying no attention to their own minds as it makes real-life decisions.

working papers series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: May 15, 2009  

Suggested Citation

Harris, Lasana T., The Influence of Social Group and Context on Punishment Decisions: Insights from Social Neuroscience (May 21, 2009). Gruter Institute Squaw Valley Conference 2009: Law, Behavior & the Brain. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1405319

Contact Information

Lasana T. Harris (Contact Author)
New York University (NYU) - Department of Psychology ( email )
New York, NY 10003
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 377

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo6 in 0.313 seconds