Social Neuroscience Lab
Lab Director | Brent Hughes

Exploring Motivated Cognition in Mind, Brain, & Behavior

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The UCR Social Neuroscience Lab

People like to believe their thinking reflects an accurate impression of reality. Upon closer inspection, this assumption collapses. Instead, like the inhabitants of Garrison Keillor’s Lake Woebegon, people tend to see themselves and their peers as being unrealistically likable, moral, attractive, trustworthy, and all other manner of positive traits. These cases exemplify the phenomenon of motivated cognition, under which goals and needs guide individuals’ thinking towards desired conclusions. We study the processes underlying motivated cognition and their influence on self perception, social cognition and decision-making, as well as their impact on real-world outcomes. 

Learn About Our Research ➝