Some cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of social inhibition and facilitation

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Tasks that, in the working memory and neuropsychological literature, have been related to executive and frontal processing, and nonexecutive and more posterior brain processing, bear distinct similarities with the kinds of tasks that, in the social psychological literature, have been associated with social inhibition and facilitation, respectively. Accordingly, a cognitive- neuropsychological model of social inhibition and facilitation is proposed whereby the presence of others engages the executive and frontal systems, and facilitates the function of systems active in more automatic, nonexecutive processing. In two experiments, the tasks most associated with executive and frontal processing (phonemic switches and answers to complex questions) showed evidence of social inhibition, whereas those more associated with nonexecutive and more posterior temporal processing (phonemic clusters and confidence-accuracy correlations), showed some evidence of social facilitation. Implications are discussed. © 2007 Psychology Press.




Wagstaff, G. F., Wheatcroft, J., Cole, J. C., Brunas-Wagstaff, J., Blackmore, V., & Pilkington, A. (2008). Some cognitive and neuropsychological aspects of social inhibition and facilitation. European Journal of Cognitive Psychology, 20(4), 828–846.

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