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Title: An Assessment of Modality Invariance to Explore Human Tendency towards Social Thinking
Authors: McMullin, Meghan
Advisors: Hasson, Uri
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2016
Abstract: Our objective is to draw conclusions about the human mind’s tendency to think in socially oriented ways and its ability to extract social meaning from abstract information. Our study involves three stimuli; one visual stimulus in the form of a movie clip which depicts the movement of shapes and lines. A given subject may interpret the movie literally as simply an interaction between inanimate options. Alternatively, a subject may interpret the movie metaphorically (finding deeper meaning within those interactions). We then provide the subject with two audio stimuli, each representing one of the two possible movie interpretations (the literal and the metaphoric interpretation). If the subject tends to think in socially oriented ways, we will see similar brain responses stimulated as those in the metaphorical audio stimuli. If the subject does not, we expect to see limited brain responses stimulated similar to those in the literal audio stimuli. Our study does not reveal modality-invariance between any conditions that would suggest that humans tend to extract social information from abstract information, and thus, think in social ways. These findings challenge prior literature that supports the concepts of modality-selection and invariance.
Extent: 60 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2016

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