The Quadruple Process Model approach to examining the neural underpinnings of prejudice

JS Beer, M (Mirre) Stallen, MV Lombardo, K Gonsalkorale, WA Cunningham, JW Sherman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


In order to investigate the systems underlying the automatic and controlled processes that support social attitudes, we conducted an fMRI study that combined an implicit measure of race attitudes with the Quadruple Process model (Quad model). A number of previous neural investigations have adopted the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to examine the automatic processes that contribute to social attitudes. Application of the Quad model builds on this previous research by permitting measures of distinct automatic and controlled processes that contribute to performance on the IAT. The present research found that prejudiced attitudes of ingroup favoritism were associated with amygdala, medial and right lateral orbitofrontal cortex. In contrast, prejudiced attitudes of outgroup negativity were associated with caudate and left lateral orbitofrontal cortex. Frontal regions found in previous neural research on the IAT, such as anterior cingulate, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and operculum were associated with detecting appropriate responses in situations in which they conflict with automatic associations. Insula activity was associated with attitudes towards ingroup and outgroup members, as well as detecting appropriate behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)775-783
Number of pages9
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2008


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