William A. Cunningham, Ingrid Johnsen Haas and Andrew Jahn

in The Oxford Handbook of Social Neuroscience

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780195342161
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology


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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Social Psychology



This chapter reviews social neuroscience research that links social psychological attitudes and evaluative processes to their presumed neural bases. The chapter is organized into four parts. The first section discusses how attitude representations are transformed into evaluative states that can be used to guide thought and action. The next two sections address the related processes of attitude learning and change. The final section discusses applications of these concepts for the study of prejudice and political behavior.

Keywords: attitudes; evaluation; reinforcement; conditioning; amygdala; striatum; orbitofrontal cortex; prefrontal cortex; prejudice

Article.  11500 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Social Psychology

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