No matter how independent we are, deep inside us there is always a part that depends on the opinion of others. It is practically impossible to get rid of the conditioning of society
Because, after all, we are social animals. Now a team of psychologists from University College London and the University of Aarhus have found some clues in the brain that would reveal why we care what others think of us. And they also explain why some people care more about the opinion of others than others.
When they support our opinions, we feel good
To carry out the study, the researchers recruited 28 volunteers and asked them to write a list of 20 songs they liked but couldn't keep a copy. They then had to rate each passage from the first to the tenth, based on how much they liked it and how much they would like to have a copy.While people were engaged in this task, the researchers monitored their brain activity. They listened to one of the songs on their list and another unknown one. After listening to the songs, everyone had to say which one they preferred of the two. After hearing their opinion, the researchers told them what some "experts" thought of the two songs. In this way they discovered that when their opinion coincided with that of the "experts", the ventral striatum, an area of the brain associated with reward, was activated. In addition, the activation was greater the stronger the validation received was, and the researchers went a step further to confirm this phenomenon. In another assignment, the person's chosen song was randomly scored. When the songs gained more points, this activation was found in the brain again, but this did not happen when the problem received few points. After the exercises were finished, the participants were asked to rate the songs again from the first to the tenth. The psychologists found that most of the participants chose to change their grades to reflect the opinions of the experts. Also, the interesting point was that the people who were more likely to be influenced by the opinions of the "experts" "Were the ones that showed greater activation in the brain's reward center.
The reward mechanism
Il reward mechanism
in the brain is one of the oldest and basically indicates what behaviors make us feel good, but that doesn't mean they're healthy. The main goal is to prevent us from interrupting the behaviors that produce pleasure.To achieve this, substances such as monoamides are released in the brain, which generate a state of arousal or well-being. The problem is that, to the extent that we repeat the behavior that makes us feel good, the connection is strengthened in the brain, and this leads to addiction and addiction. In fact, the mechanism that is activated when we receive social approval is almost identical to what is at the basis of addiction. Therefore, it is as if we were made to seek acceptance. Of course, there are people for whom this connection is not that strong, they are the most self-confident, who have probably received training in which they were not "forced" to seek. constantly approving. In these cases the connection is much weaker and, consequently, so is the feeling of well-being when someone agrees with their opinions.
Inextricably linked to the opinions of others?
These findings do not mean that we are tied to the opinions of others. They indicate rather than to some people, probably because of the training they received as children, they are more concerned about the judgment of others. But the most interesting thing is that our brains have great plasticity, which means that we can change at any moment. It will be more difficult, but not impossible.