Being part of a group is a crucial factor in human social interaction. In the current study we explored whether group membership affects reflexive automatic cognitive functioning, and specifically the social inhibition of return effect (SIOR; Welsh et al., 2005). SIOR is characterized by slower reaction times (RTs) to a location already searched by another agent. To examine whether group membership modulates SIOR, we recruited Muslim and Jewish students from the University of Haifa to perform a task with either an in-group member or an out-group member. Both IOR and SIOR were suggested to act as a foraging facilitator (Klein, 2000; Welsh et al., 2005). Accordingly, we predicted that the SIOR effect would be larger when performing the task with an in-group member than with an out-group member. The results confirmed our prediction by indicating that the co-actor's group membership modulated the SIOR effect. These findings are consistent with the notion that social factors play a critical role in producing the SIOR effect and provide a novel indication of the influence of social factors such as group membership on basic reflexive cognitive processes.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Orit Nafcha is grateful to the Azrieli Foundation for the award of an Azrieli Fellowship.
© 2020 Elsevier B.V.
- Group membership
- Orienting of attention
- Social context
- Social inhibition of return
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)