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Attractive Chameleons Sell: The Mimicry-Attractiveness Link


  • This research was supported by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education (N N106 220138 and 644/MOB/2011/0), and the Polish National Science Centre (2011/03/B/HS6/05084).


The present research explored the effects of nonverbal mimicry behavior and mimicker attractiveness in a natural retail context. A 3 (nonverbal mimicry, nonmimicking, antimimicry) × 2 (attractive salesperson, attractiveness control) design was used to study the effects of different combinations of these variables on female customers’ (N = 150) purchases, customer service ratings, and plans to return to the store. Results showed that customers spent the most and had the highest customer service ratings when they interacted with a salesperson who was both attractive and mimicking them. When the salesperson, however, was less attractive and engaged in the opposite gestures as the customer, it corresponded with substantially lower customer service ratings and a tendency to not wish to return to the store. The theoretical and practical implications of these findings for mimicry and attractiveness in a retail environment are discussed.