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Strength of socio-political attitudes moderates electrophysiological responses to perceptual anomalies

Reiss, Stefan, Klackl, Johannes, Proulx, Travis ORCID: and Jonas, Eva 2019. Strength of socio-political attitudes moderates electrophysiological responses to perceptual anomalies. PLoS ONE 14 (8) , -. 10.1371/journal.pone.0220732

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People with strong (vs. moderate) political attitudes have been shown to exhibit less phasic reactivity to perceptual anomalies, presumably to prevent their committed meaning systems from being challenged by novel experiences. Several researchers have proposed that (but not tested whether) firmly committed individuals also engage in more attentional suppression of anomalies, likely mediated by prestimulus alpha power. We expected participants with strong (vs. moderate) political attitudes to display increased pre-stimulus alpha power when processing perceptual anomalies. We recorded electrophysiological activity during the presentation of normal cards (control group) or both normal and anomalous playing cards (experimental group; total N = 191). In line with our predictions, the presence of anomalous playing cards in the stimulus set increased prestimulus alpha power only among individuals with strong but not moderate political attitudes. As potential markers of phasic reactivity, we also analyzed the late positive potential (LPP) and earlier components of the event-related potential, namely P1, N1, and P300. The moderating effect of extreme attitudes on ERP amplitudes remained inconclusive. Altogether, our findings support the idea that ideological conviction is related to increased tonic responses to perceptual anomalies.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 August 2019
Date of Acceptance: 22 July 2019
Last Modified: 26 Oct 2022 07:29

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