Departmental Papers (ASC)

Document Type

Technical Report

Date of this Version

2018

Publication Source

Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition

Abstract

How do people acquire knowledge about which individuals belong to different cliques or communities? And to what extent does this learning process differ from the process of learning higher-order information about complex associations between non-social bits of information? Here, we employ a paradigm in which the order of stimulus presentation forms temporal associations between the stimuli, collectively constituting a complex network. We examined individual differences in the ability to learn community structure of networks composed of social versus non-social stimuli. Although participants were able to learn community structure of both social and non-social networks, their performance in social network learning was uncorrelated with their performance in non-social network learning. In addition, social traits, including social orientation and perspective-taking, uniquely predicted the learning of social community structure but not the learning of non-social community structure. Taken together, our results suggest that the process of learning higher-order community structure in social networks is partially distinct from the process of learning higher-order community structure in non-social networks. Our study design provides a promising approach to identify neurophysiological drivers of social network versus non-social network learning, extending our knowledge about the impact of individual differences on these learning processes.

Copyright/Permission Statement

This is a pre-publication version of an article accepted for publication in the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, published by the American Psychological Association. This paper has not been peer reviewed. Please do not copy or cite without authors' permission.

Keywords

social network learning, statistical learning, social cognition

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Date Posted: 19 June 2018