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Neural correlates of cognitive dissonance and choice-induced preference change

Izuma, K., Matsumoto, M., Murayama, K., Samejima, K., Sadato, N. and Matsumoto, K. (2010) Neural correlates of cognitive dissonance and choice-induced preference change. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107 (51). pp. 22014-22019. ISSN 0027-8424

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1011879108

Abstract/Summary

According to many modern economic theories, actions simply reflect an individual's preferences, whereas a psychological phenomenon called “cognitive dissonance” claims that actions can also create preference. Cognitive dissonance theory states that after making a difficult choice between two equally preferred items, the act of rejecting a favorite item induces an uncomfortable feeling (cognitive dissonance), which in turn motivates individuals to change their preferences to match their prior decision (i.e., reducing preference for rejected items). Recently, however, Chen and Risen [Chen K, Risen J (2010) J Pers Soc Psychol 99:573–594] pointed out a serious methodological problem, which casts a doubt on the very existence of this choice-induced preference change as studied over the past 50 y. Here, using a proper control condition and two measures of preferences (self-report and brain activity), we found that the mere act of making a choice can change self-report preference as well as its neural representation (i.e., striatum activity), thus providing strong evidence for choice-induced preference change. Furthermore, our data indicate that the anterior cingulate cortex and dorsolateral prefrontal cortex tracked the degree of cognitive dissonance on a trial-by-trial basis. Our findings provide important insights into the neural basis of how actions can alter an individual's preferences.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:No Reading authors. Back catalogue items
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Neuroscience
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Language and Cognition
Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Psychopathology and Affective Neuroscience
ID Code:33593
Publisher:National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

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