Behavioral mimicry and stigmatization

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96 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Two experiments investigated the moderation of behavioral mimicry effects as a function of the to-be-mimicked target. In each experiment participants completed an ice cream taste test in the presence of a confederate who was instructed to either eat a lot of ice cream (high consumption condition) or very little ice cream (low consumption condition). The extent to which participants mimicked the ice cream consumption of the confederate was recorded. In addition two confederates were employed; one of the confederates in each experiment had a visual stigma. In Experiment 1 the confederate was either obese or not. In Experiment 2 the confederate had, or did not have, a facial birthmark. Results showed mimicry of the confederate's ice cream consumption except for the obese confederate in Experiment 1. Stigmatization of the to-be-mimicked target does inhibit mimicry effects but only when the nature of the Stigmatization is linked to the critical task. Results are discussed in terms of non-conscious elicitation and inhibition of behavior. Implications for social interaction are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-35
Number of pages18
JournalSocial Cognition
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2002
Externally publishedYes

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