Human mimicry

  • Human mimicry is ubiquitous, and often occurs without the awareness of the person mimicking or the person being mimicked. First, we briefly describe some of the major types of nonconscious mimicry -verbal, facial, emotional, and behavioral- and review the evidence for their automaticity. Next, we argue for the broad impact of mimicry and summarize the literature documenting its influence on the mimicry dyad and beyond. This review highlights the moderators of mimicry as well, including the social, motivational, and emotional conditions that foster or inhibit automatic mimicry. We interpret these findings in light of current theories of mimicry. First, we evaluate the evidence for and against mimicry as a communication tool. Second, we review neuropsychological research that sheds light on the question of how we mimic. What is the cognitive architecture that enables us to do what we perceive others do? We discuss a proposed system, the perception-behavior link, and the neurological evidence (Le., the mirror system) supporting it. We will then review the debate on whether mimicry is innate and inevitable. We propose that the architecture enabling mimicry is innate, but that the behavioral mimicry response may actually be (partly) a product of learning or associations. Finally. we speculate on what the behavioral data on mimicry may imply for the evolution of mimicry.

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Author:Tanya L. Chartrand, Rick van Baaren
Parent Title (English):Advances in experimental social psychology
Place of publication:Amsterdam [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2009/12/29
Year of first Publication:2009
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2009/12/29
Page Number:56
First Page:219
Last Page:274
Signatur: Zs 9105
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
Licence (German):License LogoArchivex. zur Lesesaalplatznutzung § 52b UrhG