No one is completely immune from group influence or situational context
Stigma and status are powerful imperatives that influence most social behavior
Social groups influence individual behavior: the intricacies of play, cooperation, competition, altruism and collective violence.
Brain Science sheds light on Social Psychology
For over 60 years, Social Psychology research has shown how easy it is for us to lie to ourselves; to think we know more than we do and to believe that we are more competent than we are; to deny our actions when they lead to unexpected disaster; to justify our mistakes and misdeeds; and to project onto others flaws that we are unconsciously ashamed of in ourselves.
Ongoing research from Social Neuroscience is undergirding previous social psychology findings on cognitive dissonance, group think, peer pressure, denial, projection, conformity and obedience, the effects of group membership, stigma and status, and how dehumanization can lead to cruelty and injustice toward disempowered groups.
Social Cognitive Affective Neuroscience (SCAN) research is shedding light on the mechanisms that underlie these human tendencies: how our brain has built-in biases and blind spots; how we reconstruct “reality” from rudimentary sensory data and confabulate to fill in any gaps; how a sense of certainty and the “feeling of knowing” are functionally separate from the activity in the brain when we actually know something; how our decisions, actions and volition are influenced by implicit, unconscious cognition.