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

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Abstract

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.

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