Seeing really is believing
(Medical Xpress) -- Want to know why sports fans get so worked up when they think the referee has wrongly called their team's pass forward, their player offside, or their serve as a fault?
Research from The University of Queensland's School of Psychology and the Queensland Brain Institute found people actually see their team's actions in a different way than they see those of other teams.
The study, which was published in the journal Human Brain Mapping, randomly divided volunteers into blue and red teams and let them judge the relative speeds of hand actions performed by the team they support, and their opponents, in a competitive situation.
Lead researcher Dr Pascal Molenberghs said results showed the brain responded differently when people saw actions of their team members compared to the opposing side, but that this was not as simple as a bias in opinion.
Our study found that people quickly identified with their group and that they consistently judged their own team's actions as being a fraction of a second faster than those of non-team members, when in reality the actions were identical, Dr Molenberghs said.
The research team, which also included PhD candidate Veronika Halász, Professor Jason Mattingley, Dr Eric Vanman and Associate Professor Ross Cunnington, then used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) technology to assess each participant's brain activity during the experiments.
We explored two possible explanations for the bias: either people actually see their team's actions differently, or people see the actions as the same but make a conscious decision that their own team was faster, he said.
We found that the people who showed a bias in favour of their own team had a different brain response when they were watching the actions of team members compared to the actions of non-team members.
But crucially, we found no difference in brain response during the conscious decision making part of the experiments.
What this suggests is that we unconsciously perceive the actions of teams we are affiliated with differently than those performed by other teams.
So contrary to common belief, people seem to be unaware that they are biased towards their own team.
It's not simply that we decide to favour the actions of our team because we think they are the best. Rather, because we feel an affiliation with the team, our brain processes the actions of own team members more favourably.
So next time you think an umpire has made an unfair call against your team, bear in mind that your team allegiance could be affecting the way your brain is processing what you saw.
Dr Molenberghs said the results had broader implications.
Our findings could help explain discrimination between all kinds of groups - including those of race, gender and nationality - because our study suggests that we see the actions of non-group members differently and what we see is what we believe.
Dr Molenberghs plans to build on the findings by conducting similar experiments with members of real teams to see how this affects the outcomes.
More information on the study is available here.
Provided by University of Queensland
- Researchers can predict future actions from human brain activity Jun 29, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Can companies, political groups or organizations have a single mind? Dec 05, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Researchers discover 'inner compass' in the human brain Oct 04, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- People behave socially and 'well' even without rules: study Jan 16, 2012 | not rated yet | 0
- How child molesters justify their actions Apr 08, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
How can there be a term called "intestinal metaplasia" of stomach
15 hours ago Hello everyone, Ok Stomach's normal epithelium is simple columnar, now in intestinal type of adenocarcinoma of stomach it undergoes "intestinal...
Pressure-volume curve: Elastic Recoil Pressure don't make sense
May 18, 2013 From pressure-volume curve of the lung and chest wall (attached photo), I don't understand why would the elastic recoil pressure of the lung is...
If you became brain-dead, would you want them to pull the plug?
May 17, 2013 I'd want the rest of me to stay alive. Sure it's a lousy way to live but it beats being all-the-way dead. Maybe if I make it 20 years they'll...
MRI bill question
May 15, 2013 Dear PFers, The hospital gave us a $12k bill for one MRI (head with contrast). The people I talked to at the hospital tell me that they do not...
Ratio of Hydrogen of Oxygen in Dessicated Animal Protein
May 13, 2013 As an experiment, for the past few months I've been consuming at least one portion of Jell-O or unflavored Knox gelatin per day. I'm 64, in very...
Alcohol and acetaminophen
May 13, 2013 Edit: sorry for the typo in the title , can't edit I looked around on google quite a bit and it's very hard to find precise information on the...
- More from Physics Forums - Medical Sciences
More news stories
(HealthDay)—The monstrous tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., on Monday, killing dozens of adults and children, is a stunning example of violent weather that can affect a child's mental well-being.
Psychology & Psychiatry 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Youth who had a schoolmate die by suicide are significantly more likely to consider or attempt suicide, according to a study in published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal). This effect can last 2 years or mo ...
Psychology & Psychiatry 10 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Johns Hopkins researchers say they have discovered specific chemical alterations in two genes that, when present during pregnancy, reliably predict whether a woman will develop postpartum depression.
Psychology & Psychiatry 18 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A Mediterranean diet with added extra virgin olive oil or mixed nuts seems to improve the brain power of older people better than advising them to follow a low-fat diet, indicates research published online in the Journal of ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 20, 2013 | 3.5 / 5 (2) | 2
More people are being diagnosed with eating disorders every year and the most common type is not either of the two most well known—bulimia or anorexia—but eating disorders not otherwise specified (eating disorders that ...
Psychology & Psychiatry May 20, 2013 | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Native peoples in regions where cameras are uncommon sometimes react with caution when their picture is taken. The fear that something must have been stolen from them to create the photo ...
11 hours ago | 4.2 / 5 (5) | 0 |
(Medical Xpress)—Despite spending billions of dollars on research and development, drug companies have been unable to come up with effective treatments for dementia and Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Now, A. ...
9 hours ago | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0 |
An experimental sleeping pill from US drug company Merck is effective at helping people fall and stay asleep, according to reviewers at the US Food and Drug Administration, which could soon approve the new drug.
4 hours ago | 3 / 5 (2) | 0
Activating an enzyme known to play a role in the anti-aging benefits of calorie restriction delays the loss of brain cells and preserves cognitive function in mice, according to a study published in the May ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (3) | 0 |
Australian scientists have charted the path of insulin action in cells in precise detail like never before. This provides a comprehensive blueprint for understanding what goes wrong in diabetes.
11 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (4) | 0 |
A drug commonly used to treat depression and anxiety may improve a stress-related heart condition in people with stable coronary heart disease, according to researchers at Duke Medicine.
6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |