This just in: You’re not a pushover, you’re just grey-brained. When it comes to social situations, the physiology of your brain may affect how impressionable you are. The more grey matter in one brain region, the more likely you are to give in to social pressures! Researchers from several universities took brain measurements—to see how much grey matter was present in specific areas—and then tested the same participants for social pressures. Specifically, they asked each person to rate songs they liked, and then to rate them again after they were told of a music critic’s opinion of their choices. It turned out the “pushovers” in the group (those influenced by the critic’s rating) also had more grey matter in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex of their brain. The others didn’t have as much grey matter and, yup, didn’t seem to care what the critics thought. This means some people might be hard-wired to be more sensitive to social conflict. If that’s true? The parents of junior-high students everywhere are shuddering at the mere thought.
MORE: Is it a Bad Thing to Be Hard-Wired for Peer Pressure?