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An adaptive role of collective decisions: shared responsibility in the human brain (360G-Wellcome-204702_Z_16_Z)

Decades of research in collective decision-making show that the reliability of joint decisions is far from guaranteed raising the obvious question: why is collective decision making so popular in human interactions? I suggest an alternative to the quest for collective accuracy. I hypothesise that collective decisions are adaptive because (1) joint (vs. individual) decisions decrease the sense of responsibility for mistakes both at behavioural and neuronal level ; (2) individuals seek to diminish the chances of punishments through engaging in collective decisions; and (3) individuals are assigned more responsibility and punished more severely than groups. I predict that shared responsibility and punishment avoidance in group decisions modulate the same cognitive/neuronal mechanisms that underlie the sense of agency and norm-enforcement in individual behaviour. By empirically testing these predictions behaviourally and neurally (using Magnetoencephalography and Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation), I will characterize the function of collective decisions, and help clarify the utility of cooperation.


09 Nov 2016

Grant details
Amount Awarded 250000
Applicant Surname El Zein
Approval Committee Basic Science Interview Committee
Award Date 2016-11-09T00:00:00+00:00
Financial Year 2016/17
Grant Programme: Title Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellowship
Internal ID 204702/Z/16/Z
Lead Applicant Dr Marwa El Zein
Planned Dates: End Date 2021-01-23T00:00:00+00:00
Planned Dates: Start Date 2017-01-23T00:00:00+00:00
Recipient Org: Country United Kingdom
Region Greater London
Sponsor(s) Prof Neil Burgess
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