The consequences of mimicry for prosocials and proselfs: Effects of social value orientation on the mimicry–liking link

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Abstract

People often mimic each other's behaviors. As a consequence, they share each other's emotional and cognitive states, which facilitates liking. Mimicry, however, does not always affect liking. In two studies, we investigate whether the mimicry–liking link is influenced by people's social value orientations. More specifically, we examine whether prosocials and proselfs are differently affected when being mimicked or not. Prosocials and proselfs indicated their liking for the interaction partner after being or not being mimicked in a face-to-face interaction. The results of two studies showed that prosocials rated the interaction partner as less likeable when they were not mimicked than when they were mimicked. Proselfs, however, were not affected by mimicry. These results show that people's social motives play a role in whether or not the effects of mimicry on liking occur: Proselfs are less sensitive to the mimicry acts of others. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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