What is conformity? A true adoption of what other people think—or a guise to avoid social rejection? Scientists have been vexed sorting the two out, even when they’ve questioned people in private.
Now three Harvard University psychological scientists have used brain scans to show what happens when we take others’ opinions to heart: We take them “to brain”—specifically, to the orbitofrontal cortex and nucleus accumbens. These regions compute what we value and feel rewarded by, both primitive things like water and food and socially meaningful things like money.
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