Project

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The role of anticipative processes in social behavior

Applicant Genschow Oliver
Number 168007
Funding scheme Ambizione
Research institution
Institution of higher education Institution abroad - IACH
Main discipline Psychology
Start/End 01.11.2016 - 30.06.2018
Approved amount 225'979.00
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Keywords (4)

Social Behavior; Anticipation; Prediction; Social Cognition

Lay Summary (German)

Lead
Sei es im Sport, bei alltäglichen Gesprächen oder während Geschäftsverhandlungen: Immer wenn wir mit anderen Personen interagieren unterstützt uns die Fähigkeit zukünftiges Verhalten unserer Interaktionspartner akkurat zu antizipieren. In der Tat legt Forschung der letzten Jahre nahe, dass das menschliche Gehirn nicht reaktiv, sondern eher antizipativ auf Anforderungen der Umwelt reagiert. Während vergangene Forschung sich darauf konzentrierte wie gut Menschen zukünftiges Verhalten anderer Menschen antizipieren können, geht dieses Projekt einen Schritt weiter und untersucht ob Individuen das Verhalten anderer nicht nur akkurat antizipieren können, sondern ob sie auch selbst das antizipierte Verhalten zeigen.
Lay summary

Inhalt und Ziele des Forschungsprojekts

Erste Experimente demonstrieren bereits, dass Menschen antizipiertes Verhalten tatsächlich zeigen. Beobachten Probanden beispielsweise wie es eine andere Person an der Nase juckt, so kratzen sie sich selbst an der Nase bevor dies die andere Person tut. In diesem Projekt wird der genaue Prozess dieser antizipierten Handlung auf neurophysiologischer und Verhaltensebene getestet. Zusätzlich wird getestet ob dieses Phänomen auch auf Emotions-Ebene zu beobachten ist. Schlussendlich wird ein möglicher sozialer Nutzen von antizipierter Handlung getestet.  

Wissenschaftlicher und gesellschaftlicher Kontext

Sollte antizipierte Handlung tatsächlich einen sozialen Nutzen haben, so beantwortet dieses Projekt nicht nur wichtige grundlagenorientierte Fragen, sondern öffnet dadurch auch ein Feld für angewandtere Fragestellungen. So könnten die Ergebnisse beispielsweise Forschung zu Pathologien, die im Zusammenhang zu sozialer Kognition (z.B. Autismus) stehen, inspirieren.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 18.08.2016

Responsible applicant and co-applicants

Employees

Publications

Publication
Mimicking and anticipating others’ actions is linked to Social Information Processing
Genschow Oliver, Klomfar Sophie, d’Haene Ine, Brass Marcel (2018), Mimicking and anticipating others’ actions is linked to Social Information Processing, in PLOS ONE, 13(3), e0193743-e0193743.
Anticipating actions and corticospinal excitability: a preregistered motor TMS experiment
Genschow Oliver, Bardi Lara, Brass Marcel (2018), Anticipating actions and corticospinal excitability: a preregistered motor TMS experiment, in Cortex, 81-92.
Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior
Genschow Oliver, Rigoni Davide, Brass Marcel (2017), Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior, in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 114(38), 10071-10076.
Mimicry and automatic imitation are not correlated
Genschow Oliver, van Den Bossche Sofie, Cracco Emiel, Bardi Lara, Rigoni Davide, Brass Marcel (2017), Mimicry and automatic imitation are not correlated, in PLOS ONE, 12(9), e0183784-e0183784.
An empirical comparison of different implicit measures to predict consumer choice
Genschow Oliver, Demanet Jelle, Hersche Lea, Brass Marcel (2017), An empirical comparison of different implicit measures to predict consumer choice, in PLOS ONE, 12(8), e0183937-e0183937.

Collaboration

Group / person Country
Types of collaboration
Department of Experimental Psychology Belgium (Europe)
- in-depth/constructive exchanges on approaches, methods or results
- Publication
- Research Infrastructure

Scientific events

Active participation

Title Type of contribution Title of article or contribution Date Place Persons involved
Department Kolloquium Individual talk Let’s unravel the social chameleon. New investigations on social imitation 24.05.2018 Basel, Switzerland Genschow Oliver;
Department Kolloquium Individual talk Let’s unravel the social chameleon. New investigations on social imitation 27.03.2018 Los Angeles, United States of America Genschow Oliver;
Department Kolloquium Individual talk Let’s unravel the social chameleon. New investigations on social imitation. 16.03.2018 Los Angeles, United States of America Genschow Oliver;
Department Kolloquium Individual talk Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior 15.03.2018 Santa Barbara, United States of America Genschow Oliver;
Department Kolloquium Individual talk Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior 12.03.2018 Irvine, United States of America Genschow Oliver;
Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Poster Belief in free will affects causal attributions when judging others’ behavior 01.03.2018 Atlanta, United States of America Genschow Oliver;
16. Tagung der Fachgruppe für Sozialpsychologie Talk given at a conference Anticipated Emotion 04.09.2017 Ulm, Germany Genschow Oliver;
ESCON Transfer of Knowledge Conference Talk given at a conference Anticipated Emotion 23.08.2017 Danzig, Poland Genschow Oliver;
18. General Meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology Talk given at a conference The influence of comparison processes on automatic imitation 05.07.2017 Granada, Spain Genschow Oliver;
Department Kolloquium Individual talk Genschow O. (2018) Let’s unravel the social chameleon. New investigations on social imitation. Talk given at the Department of Psychology and Marketing at the University of Southern California, USA. 18.05.2017 Lüneburg, Germany Genschow Oliver;
59th conference of experimental psychologists Talk given at a conference The influence of comparison processes on automatic imitation 26.03.2017 Dresden, Germany Genschow Oliver;
Annual Meeting of the Society for Personality and Social Psychology Poster The influence of comparison processes on automatic imitation 19.01.2017 San Antonio, United States of America Genschow Oliver;


Communication with the public

Communication Title Media Place Year
Media relations: print media, online media Glaube an den freien Willen beeinflusst die Beurteilung anderer Personen In-Mind International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Spiegelneurone: Was ist dran am menschlichen Wunderwerkzeug? In-Mind International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media We are ready to move!" An interview with Daniel Lakens and Klaus Fiedler on the current challenges i International 2017
Media relations: print media, online media Wir sind bereit, voranzuschreiten!" Ein Interview mit Daniel Lakens und Klaus Fiedler über die aktue In-Mind International 2017

Abstract

In the last decade the idea had been put forward that human brain mechanisms might strongly be based on predictive processes (e.g., Kilner, Friston, & Frith, 2007; Wilson & Knoblich, 2005). For example, Wilson and Knoblich (2005) propose a so-called emulator that internally simulates others’ action execution. This simulation process then provides immediate information about the ongoing course of the observed action as well as its probable immediate future. While such considerations are mainly based on neurophysiological studies and models, recent behavioral experiments demonstrated that individuals are actually able to anticipate another person’s action above chance level by merely observing the starting point of an action (e.g., Knoblich & Flach, 2001).Based on models suggesting that mentally simulating an action is neurological similar as to engaging in this action (e.g., Chartrand & Dalton, 2009; Prinz, 1990, 1997), in an ongoing research project I am conducting at Ghent University (Belgium), I went one step further by investigating whether individuals are not only able to predict another person’s action but whether participants are actually engaging in this action. In a series of studies I demonstrated that individuals anticipate another person’s future action based on the interpretation of the other person’s nonverbal information and then engage in the anticipated action without the other person ever engaging in this action (Genschow & Brass, 2015; Genschow & Greifeneder, in preparation; Genschow, Klomfar, & Brass, in preparation). For example, in two studies (Genschow & Brass, 2015) we led participants observe two videos. In one video the model repeatedly wrinkled her nose and in the other video her hair was repeatedly falling into her face. The results indicate that while watching the nose wrinkling video, participants engaged in more anticipated nose wrinkling actions (e.g., nose scratching) than anticipated hair falling actions (e.g., hair stroking) and vice versa while watching the hair falling video. The studies on this anticipated action effect form the headstone for the research project I describe in this proposal. The project is divided into four sub-projects. Project A aims at systematically investigating the process underlying anticipated action. Study 1 tests the alternative explanation that anticipated action might be mainly driven by attentional processes. Study 2 investigates to which degree the effect is based on simulation processes. Project B aims at further investigating the processes of anticipated action by unraveling boundary conditions of the effect. Studies 3 to 5 investigate different facets of cognitive prediction processes, Theory of Mind, and empathy, in order to test the impact of cognitive and affective processes on anticipated action. Studies 6, 7, and 8 test whether the similarity between the model and the observer moderates the effect of anticipated action. Having established the basic paradigm in the previous studies, the goal of Project C is to generalize the effect in another domain-namely emotions. Concretely, Studies 9 and 10 will investigate whether individuals engage in anticipated emotions and whether the engagement in anticipated emotions are based on similar processes as the engagement in anticipated actions.Finally, the aim of Project D is to test the social function of anticipated action. Studies 11 and 12 investigate the effect of anticipated action on imitative processes. Concretely, I will test the hypothesis that anticipative processes crucially contribute to imitation. Given that anticipated action indeed contributes to imitation, Studies 11 to 13 test whether anticipated action leads to affiliative feelings similar as imitation does.Taken together, the proposed studies will provide important insight into the understanding of how individuals anticipate others’ behavior. Moreover, they test the social function of anticipated behavior.
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