Distinct Neural Correlates of Differences in Perceived Group Entitativity

Laurens Van Der Cruyssen, Elien Heleven, Ceylan Ozdem, Frank Van Overwalle

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingMeeting abstract (Book)


Previous studies on social groups demonstrated processing differences related to the perceived level of group-entitativity. It was found that processing information from members of high entitative groups, as compared to members of low entitative groups, will lead to the formation of an abstract prototypical image of a group-member, which is subsequently transferred to the other group-members in an attempt to achieve increased efficiency in processing daily social reality. In the current study we examine the brain-activation patterns associated with these differences in perceived levels of group entitativity. Twenty native Dutch-speaking participants read blocks of behavioral descriptions belonging to four protagonists who were part of either a high or a low entitative group. Prior to the presentation of each group, the type of group and assumed entitativity level were provided. The participants received behavioral information about 20 high entitative groups and 20 low entitative groups. The results revealed an adaptation effect for trait-inference, that is, the activation decreased as more behavioral information was read about group members. This effect was observed in the Anterior Cingulate, Middle Cingulate and Paracentral Lobule. Adaptation in the bilateral frontal gyri was related the difference in perceived level of group entitativity, with adaptation being stronger for low as opposed to high entitative groups, suggesting that more trait-related learning took place for low entitative groups. The impact on current theories about group perception will be discussed during the presentation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationTalk at the European Social Cognition Network 2: Transfer of knowledge conference Augsut 27th - 1st of September Vilnius, Lithuania.
Publication statusPublished - 27 Aug 2013
EventUnknown -
Duration: 27 Aug 2013 → …


Period27/08/13 → …


  • social neuroscience
  • entitativity
  • fMRI


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