Group value learned through interactions with members: A reinforcement learning account.

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Date: Mar. 2022
Publisher: Elsevier B.V.
Document Type: Report; Brief article
Length: 269 words

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Abstract :

Keywords Prejudice; Instrumental learning; Reward; Attitudes; Habit Abstract How do group-based interaction tendencies form through encounters with individual group members? In four experiments, in which participants interacted with group members in a reinforcement learning task presented as a money sharing game, participants formed instrumental reward associations with individual group members through direct interaction and feedback. Results revealed that individual-level reward learning generalized to a group-based representation, as indicated in self-reported group attitudes, trait impressions, and the tendency to choose subsequent interactions with novel members of the group. Experiments 3 and 4 further demonstrated that group-based reward effects on interaction choices persisted even when past group reward value was no longer predicted of future positive outcomes, consistent with a habit-like expression of group bias. These results demonstrate a novel process of prejudice formation based on instrumental reward learning from direct interactions with individual group members. We discuss implications for existing theories of prejudice, the role of habit in intergroup bias, and intervention strategies to reduce prejudice. Author Affiliation: (a) University of Southern California, United States of America (b) New York University, United States of America (c) University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands * Corresponding author at: Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, 3620 South McClintock Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90089, United States of America. Article History: Received 1 January 2021; Revised 2 December 2021; Accepted 3 December 2021 (miscellaneous) Editor: Professor. Rachel Barkan (footnote)[white star] This paper has been recommended for acceptance by Professor. Rachel Barkan. (footnote)1 These authors contributed equally to this work. Byline: Leor M. Hackel [lhackel@usc.edu] (a,1,*), Drew Kogon (a,1), David M. Amodio (b,c), Wendy Wood (a)

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A690060603