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Mimicking disliked others: Effects of a priori liking on the mimicry-liking link



The sharing of bodily states elicits in mimicker and mimickee corresponding conceptualisations, which facilitates liking. There are many studies showing the relatedness of mimicry and liking. However, the mimicry-liking link has not been investigated under conditions in which the mimickee is liked or disliked a priori. In two studies, we examined moderating effects of a priori liking on the mimicry-liking link. Liking was measured via self-report measures (Studies 1 and 2) and behavioural measures using a virtual environment technology (Study 2). Results showed that when participants intentionally mimicked a disliked person, liking for that person was not improved, whereas when participants mimicked a liked person, liking for that person increased. These effects were shown to be mediated by affiliation. These studies not only provided further evidence of a link between mimicry and liking, but also demonstrated that this relationship is moderated by a priori liking. Copyright © 2009 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.