Data and methods Accepted project proposals Does restingstate connectivity predict trust and reciprocity? A replication study

Author: Koen Haak
Affiliation(s): Tilburg School of Humanities and Digital Sciences, Tilburg University    
Research question(s): 
Can we reproduce results from Bellucci et al. (2019) at measurement 1, and how may this change over time (measurements 2 & 3)?

Understanding why individuals vary in cooperative behavior is an important open question in many fields ranging from biology to psychology to economics. Bellucci et al. (2019) started to investigate the neural underpinnings of cooperative behavior by considering to which extent resting-state functional connectivity (RSFC) presents an individual’s propensity to trust and reciprocate by using one-round trust games (TG). Their results – relying on 25 independent observations – demonstrated that individual differences in RSFC could predict individual variances in the propensity to trust and reciprocate. Their study aimed to advance the understanding of how single RSFC networks represent specific neuroimaging markers for an individual’s propensity to social behaviors. However, the authors admit that the limited number of observations might not provide the right power to hold up their results and state: " future studies are needed to test the relationships between RSFC and social behaviors in larger samples. " HBS study is a prime candidate for such a replication study. Therefore, our project aims to replicate and extend their results using three waves of 300 observations in the HBS. 
Besides addressing an important scientific question, the proposed study allows us to demonstrate the strength of the HBS data set by examining whether results from low-powered studies hold, and to showcase cross-disciplinary research comprising researchers from different faculties to work together. This project is further intended to enable three researchers from this team to gain an in-depth understanding of RSFC measurements and its analysis in order to build up sufficient knowledge and experience that is needed for our planned follow-up studies related to the topics of employability (i.e., career potential; Van der Heijden et al., 2018) and the expect on social inclusion that modulates the expectations about the behavior of others, affecting trust., and possibly also trustworthiness (due to ingroup biases).