Jay J. van Bavel

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Classic minimal-group studies found that people arbitrarily assigned to a novel group quickly display a range of perceptual, affective, and behavioral in-group biases. We randomly assigned participants to a mixed-race team and used functional magnetic resonance imaging to identify brain regions involved in processing novel in-group and out-group members(More)
People perceive and evaluate others according to social categories. Yet social perception is complicated by the fact that people have multiple social identities, and self-categorization with these identities shifts from one situation to another. Two experiments examined whether self-categorization with a novel mixed-race group would override automatic(More)
Evidence indicates that superior memory for own-group versus other-group faces (termed own-group bias) occurs because of social categorization: People are more likely to encode own-group members as individuals. The authors show that aspects of the perceiver's social identity shape social attention and memory over and above mere categorization. In three(More)
Although early research implicated the amygdala in automatic processing of negative information, more recent research suggests that it plays a more general role in processing the motivational relevance of various stimuli, suggesting that the relation between valence and amygdala activation may depend on contextual goals. This study provides experimental(More)
Several theories suggest that people do not represent race when it does not signify group boundaries. However, race is often associated with visually salient differences in skin tone and facial features. In this study, we investigated whether race could be decoded from distributed patterns of neural activity in the fusiform gyri and early visual cortex when(More)
We examined whether cardiac vagal tone (indexed by heart rate variability, HRV) was associated with the functioning of selective attention under load. Participants were instructed to detect a target letter among letter strings superimposed on either fearful or neutral distractor faces. Under low load, when letter strings consisted of six target letters,(More)
We examined the relationship between tonic--a correlate of self-regulatory functioning--and phasic cardiac vagal activity (indexed by heart rate variability; HRV) during a selective attentional task with varying levels of load. Participants detected a target letter among letter strings superimposed on either fearful or neutral face distractors. Letter(More)
The current research examines individual differences in flexible emotional attention. In two experiments, we investigated the relationship between individual differences in cardiac vagal tone and top-down and bottom-up processes associated with emotional attention. To help determine the role of cortical and subcortical mechanisms underlying top-down and(More)
In recent years, scientists have paid increasing attention to reproducibility. For example, the Reproducibility Project, a large-scale replication attempt of 100 studies published in top psychology journals found that only 39% could be unambiguously reproduced. There is a growing consensus among scientists that the lack of reproducibility in psychology and(More)
There is extensive evidence that emotional-especially threatening-stimuli rapidly capture attention. These findings are often explained in terms of a hard-wired and relatively inflexible fear module. We propose an alternative, more flexible mechanism, arguing that motivational relevance is the crucial factor driving rapid attentional orienting. To test our(More)