Best Paper Award for Laura Müller-Pinzler at the NeuroPsychoEconomics conference

Great news! Laura Müller-Pinzler has received the 2021 Best Paper Award at the NeuroPsychoEconomics conference in Amsterdam for the presentation of her latest project in the symposium “Social Neuroeconomics” (Chair: Jan Engelmann). 



Biases in self-related belief formation and their association with self-conscious affect

During everyday interactions people constantly receive feedback on their behavior, which shapes

the beliefs they form about themselves. However, this is not a passive process during which

information is picked up in an objective manner, rather the idea prevails that belief formation is

essentially biased and shaped by affective and motivational states. In order to assess the impact of

self-related affective states during the formation of self-related ability beliefs in a performance

context we modeled prediction error updates of performance expectations in response to

manipulated feedback during a cognitive estimation task. We show that updating of self-related

ability beliefs was biased towards negative information and this bias was associated with the

individual experience of self-conscious emotions (embarrassment and pride) during the task.

Further, the results suggest that individuals who update more negatively and experience more

intense embarrassment and less pride might process negative information more intensely than

positive information as indicated by increased pupil dilation and neural activation within the anterior

insula, amygdala, VTA and mPFC. Our results shed light onto a potential mechanism of how affective

states might shape attention towards and processing of specific information therefore biasing the


beliefs people form about themselves.

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