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Chapter seven - Research Methods in Social and Affective Neuroscience

from Part two - Procedural Possibilities

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 June 2014

Harry T. Reis
Affiliation:
University of Rochester, New York
Charles M. Judd
Affiliation:
University of Colorado Boulder
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Summary

This chapter provides a concise and up-to-date description of neuroimaging methods in the context of eight conceptual questions used by social neuroscientists, particularly functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG), for an audience of social and personality psychologists. It briefly discusses what kinds of questions can be answered using social neuroscience methods. The chapter describes how fMRI studies are designed and how their data are collected, analyzed, and reported. It focuses on EEG and event-related potential (ERP) studies. In neuroimaging, typically psychological processes are the independent variables and neural activity is the dependent variable. The anteriorization-abstraction hypothesis suggests some challenges for social neuroscience. The main challenge is that statistics that involve central tendency (e.g., means) are less powerful toward the abstract/anterior end of the gradient. Finally, the chapter also discusses the recent debates and controversies in social neuroscience and related fields.
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2014

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