Date of this Version
The Journal of Neuroscience
Although persuasive messages often alter people's self-reported attitudes and intentions to perform behaviors, these self-reports do not necessarily predict behavior change. We demonstrate that neural responses to persuasive messages can predict variability in behavior change in the subsequent week. Specifically, an a priori region of interest (ROI) in medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC) was reliably associated with behavior change (r = 0.49, p < 0.05). Additionally, an iterative cross-validation approach using activity in this MPFC ROI predicted an average 23% of the variance in behavior change beyond the variance predicted by self-reported attitudes and intentions. Thus, neural signals can predict behavioral changes that are not predicted from self-reported attitudes and intentions alone. Additionally, this is the first functional magnetic resonance imaging study to demonstrate that a neural signal can predict complex real world behavior days in advance.
Falk, E. B., Berkman, E. T., Mann, T., Harrison, B., & Lieberman, M. D. (2010). Predicting Persuasion-Induced Behavior Change From the Brain. The Journal of Neuroscience, 30 (25), 8421-8424. https://doi.org/10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0063-10.2010
Date Posted: 23 May 2016
This document has been peer reviewed.