Effects of social context on action planning and control

Research report (imported) 2004 - Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences

Authors
Sebanz, Natalie; Knoblich, Günther; Prinz, Wolfgang
Departments
Kognition und Handlung (Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Prinz)
MPI für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften, AB Psychologie, München
Summary
In many situations, people coordinate their actions to achieve common goals. For that reason, it is crucial that each person forms a mental representation of the other group members' actions. This can be achieved through a direct observation-execution match: the process of observing an action activates the mental structures involved in one's own planning and control of this action. This implies that one and the same task should be performed differently depending on whether it is performed alone or alongside another agent. This assumption was confirmed in a series of reaction time studies and an EEG study. Social context had an effect on processes related to action planning and control. Taken together, the results suggest that others' actions are represented in a similar way to one's own.

For the full text, see the German version.

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