‘Neural resonance’
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‘Neural resonance’. Singer et al. (2006). Your pain ≈ my pain. ‘Neural resonance’. Your disgust ≈ my disgust. Wicker et al. , (2003), Neuron. ‘Neural resonance’. Your goals ≈ my goals. see Rizzolatti & Craighero (2004), Annual Rev Neurosci. Thinking about self.

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Your pain ≈ my pain

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Your pain my pain

‘Neural resonance’

Singer et al. (2006)

Your pain ≈ my pain


Your pain my pain

‘Neural resonance’

Your disgust ≈ my disgust

Wicker et al., (2003), Neuron


Your pain my pain

‘Neural resonance’

Your goals ≈ my goals

see Rizzolatti & Craighero (2004), Annual Rev Neurosci


Your pain my pain

Thinking about self

Thinking about other’s minds

Mitchell, 2009, Trends in Cognitive Sciences


Your pain my pain

To use myself as a basis for understanding another person, I must perceive us as appropriately similar


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1


Your pain my pain

He considers himself a typical college student. While he respects religion, his politics are relatively left of center. He deeply wanted Kerry to win the last election, and still can’t quite believe that Bush managed to be re-elected. In addition to his academic interests, he keeps himself busy at college with a variety of extra-curricular activities; for example, over the last year, he has participated in intramurals for his House and helped with his House Committee. After graduation, he plans to take a year or two off before returning to graduate school. He would ultimately like to have the kind of career where the work is fulfilling and rewarding.

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron

Experiment 1


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

He considers himself a typical college student. While he respects religion, his politics are relatively left of center. He deeply wanted Kerry to win the last election, and still can’t quite believe that Bush managed to be re-elected. In addition to his academic interests, he keeps himself busy at college with a variety of extra-curricular activities; for example, over the last year, he has participated in intramurals for his House and helped with his House Committee. After graduation, he plans to take a year or two off before returning to graduate school. He would ultimately like to have the kind of career where the work is fulfilling and rewarding.

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

He has considered himself a fundamentalist Christian for the past four years. He attends church every Sunday, in addition to several prayer services on his college campus, the University of Missouri. Because of his religious convictions, he is a strong supporter of the Republican party. He feels strongly about the Republican party’s social platform. In fact, during the last election, he was a very active member of the United Republican Brethren group on campus, which helped raise money for the Bush campaign through a variety of faith-based fundraising events. After college, he hopes to be able to settle down and start a family. He hopes to have the kind of career that would allow his future wife to stay at home and have a large family.

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

L

R

Worry about getting a good summer job?

1 = very unlikely

2 = somewhat unlikely

3 = somewhat likely

4 = very likely

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

How do we mentalize?

Experiment 4

Experiment 1

L

R

Worry about getting a good summer job?

1 = very unlikely

2 = somewhat unlikely

3 = somewhat likely

4 = very likely

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

L

R

Worry about getting a good summer job?

1 = very unlikely

2 = somewhat unlikely

3 = somewhat likely

4 = very likely

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

  • Prefer to go grocery shopping over doing laundry

  • Enjoy spending a few hours in a contemporary art museum

  • Believe that a man should pay for dinner on a date

  • Enjoy having a roommate from another country

  • Get frustrated sitting in traffic

L

R

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

not-me

me

Experiment 1

me

not-me

me

mine

my

they

theirs

them

L

R

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

Mean diff = 81.3 ms

t(14) = 2.67, p < .02

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Implicitly similar to liberal other

Implicitly dissimilar from liberal other

Experiment 1

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

Simlar > Dissimilar

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

r = .54, p < .05

Experiment 1

Simlar > Dissimilar

Mitchell, Macrae, & Banaji, 2006, Neuron


Your pain my pain

Experiment 1

Thinking about self


Your pain my pain

Experiment 2


Your pain my pain

Experiment 2


Your pain my pain

L

R

enjoys skiing?

+

likes romance novels?

L

R

enjoys travel?

Experiment 2

L

R

hates traffic?

enjoys action movies?

L

R

likes laundry?

looks forward to Xmas?


Your pain my pain

Experiment 2

Explicit self-reference task

BUSH

+

talkative

SELF

+

daring

+

BUSH

+

polite

SELF

+

dependable

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

Experiment 2

Explicit self-reference task

BUSH

+

talkative

SELF

+

daring

+

BUSH

+

polite

SELF

+

dependable

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

Experiment 2

Self > Bush

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

self only

Experiment 2

+

L

R

enjoys skiing?

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

self only

self-after-self

Experiment 2

L

R

enjoys skiing?

enjoys skiing?

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

self only

self-after-self

self-after-dissimilar

Experiment 2

L

R

likes laundry?

likes laundry?

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

self only

self-after-self

self-after-similar

self-after-dissimilar

Experiment 2

L

R

hates traffic?

hates traffic?

Jenkins, Macrae, & Mitchell (2008), Proc Natl Acad Sci


Your pain my pain

Can we affect the use of self-reference to understand others?


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

Meeting a friend for lunch

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

“I came back from the Guster concert around 3 in the morning & managed to catch a few hours of sleep before getting up to teach at the local Saturday school. My eyes are puffy from the lack of sleep; I hope Jennifer doesn’t notice when I meet her for lunch this afternoon. She’s been having trouble with her boss & I’ll have to try my hardest to look attentive & concerned.”

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

Going to class on the first day of a new semester

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

“She was just dropped off at college. After a long drive to her new school, she is finally there. Her parents helped her move into her dormroom. As she was moving in, her roommate showed up. She seemed quiet and a little different from any of her old friends. After unpacking, she said goodbye to her parents. Her mom cried while her dad tried not to. It was sad, but she was happy to finally be at college and on her own. She went off to orientation a little concerned about fitting in and making new friends, but still excited to begin a new journey.”

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

Generally prefers juice to soda

1 = very unlikely

2 = somewhat unlikely

3 = somewhat likely

4 = very likely

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

Generally prefers juice to soda

1 = very unlikely

2 = somewhat unlikely

3 = somewhat likely

4 = very likely

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

Experiment 3

Generally prefers juice to soda

1 = very unlikely

2 = somewhat unlikely

3 = somewhat likely

4 = very likely

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


Your pain my pain

p < .05

Experiment 3

self > (first + third)

Ames, Jenkins, Banaji & Mitchell (2008), Psych Science


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