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THE EFFECT OF INTEREST LEVEL ON SUSCEPTIBILITY TO U NCONSCIOUS NONVERBAL MIMICRY BY AMANDA CAIZZA A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Social Sciences New College of Florida In partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree Bachelor of Arts in Psychology Under the sponsorship of Steven Graham Sarasota, Florida April, 2010
Interest and Mimicry ii Acknowledgments This work would not have been possible without the continuous support and guidance of Dr. Steven Graham, under whose supervis ion I completed this thesis. I owe much thanks to Dr. Michelle Barton, who as my advis or has provided me with invaluable guidance throughout my time as an undergraduate. I would also like to express my gratitude to Dr. Heidi Harley for her astounding ab ility to teach and for the many opportunities she provided me that broadened my und erstanding of psychology. I would like to thank Hannah Schotman and Troy Kon icki who gave countless hours of their time as confederates in my thesis ex perimentation, without their efforts my study would not have been possible. I would like t o thank my friend Emily Meyer who willingly sacrificed her time to code much of my da ta. I would also like to extend my thanks to all my friends at New College for their c onstant support and friendship. I dedicate this thesis to my ultimate inspiration, my family. Without my mothers and fathers never ending support, guidance, and lo ve, I would never have gotten to where I am now. They always gave me the push to do my best and encouraged me to follow all my passions no matter what they were. T hank you and I love you mom and dad.
Interest and Mimicry iii TABLE OF CONTENTS Page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ................................... ................................................... ii TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................. ................................................... ... iii ABSTRACT ........... ............................ ................................................... .............. v INTRODUCTION ..... ............................... ................................................... ........... 1 Mimicry and Imitation ............................. ................................................... ............ 1 The Chameleon Effect .............................. ................................................... ............ 2 Types of Mimicry ...... .......................... ................................................... ................ 3 The Development of Mimicry ........................ ................................................... ...... 4 Non-Human Mimicry ................................ ................................................... .......... 5 Social Implications of Mimicry/Mimicry as a Tool .. .............................................. 9 Neural Basis of Mimicry ........................... ................................................... ......... 11 The Perception-Behavior Link ...................... ................................................... ..... 13 Factors Influencing Susceptibility to Mimic ....... .................................................. 14 Empathy ......................................... ............................................... 14 Social Connection ............................... .......................................... 16 Self-Monitoring ................................. ............................................ 16 Gender ......................................... .................................................. 17 Mood ......................................... .................................................. 17 Engagement and Mimicry ............................ ................................................... ...... 18 METHOD ........... .............................. ................................................... .......... 19 Participants ........... ........................ ................................................... ................ 19 Procedure ........... ........................... ................................................... ............. 19
Interest and Mimicry iv Materials ........... ........................... ................................................... ............. 22 RESULTS ........... ............................. ................................................... ........... 24 Interest Level ........... ...................... ................................................... .................. 24 Amount of Mimicry .. ............................. ................................................... ........... 24 Perception of Confederates Behavior .............. ................................................... 25 Mood as an Alternate Mechanism .................... ................................................... .. 27 DISCUSSION ........... .......................... ................................................... .............. 27 The Effect of Interest Level on Mimicry ........... ................................................... 27 Interest Level Condition Success .................. ................................................... ..... 28 Mood as a Mediating Mechanism ..................... ................................................... 29 The Perception-Behavior Links Role................ ................................................... 29 Future Research ......... ........................ ................................................... ................ 30 Conclusion ..... ........... .................... ................................................... .................... 33 Figure 1: Model of Hypothesis ..................... ................................................... ..... 34 References ..... ........... .................... ................................................... .................... 35 Appendices .... ........... ..................... ................................................... ................... 44 Appendix A: Confederate Time Stamps ............. .......................... 44 Appendix B: Follow Up Questionnaire ............. ............................ 45 Appendix C: Debriefing Script ................... .................................. 47 Appendix D: Coding Charts ....................... ................................... 49
Interest and Mimicry v THE EFFECT OF INTEREST ON SUSCEPTIBILITY TO UNCONSC IOUS NONVERBAL MIMICRY Amanda Caizza New College of Florida, 2010 ABSTRACT This study measured the role interest level plays i n nonconscious mimicry. Forty participants performed a proofreading task in which the reading material was either of high interest, a compilation of original creative s hort stories and poetry, or of low interest, an excerpt from a statistics textbook. Du ring participant completion of either task, a confederate discreetly initiated a sequence of scripted nonverbal behaviors. As predicted, those participants in the high interest condition mimicked the confederates behavior less often than did those completing the l ow interest task. Participants also noticed the confederates behavior in relation to h ow often he/she mimicked. This research suggests situational factors, such as invo lvement in certain conscious tasks, influence susceptibility to nonconscious nonverbal mimicry possibly in part because of the perception-behavior link. Dr. Steven Graham Division of Social Sciences
Interest and Mimicry 1 The Effect of Interest and Engagement Level on Susc eptibility to Unconscious Nonverbal Mimicry Imitation occurs normally and commonly in everyday life. Mimicry serves as a fascinating phenomenon that surrounds us daily and may have a significant impact on our interactions and relationships with others. Mimicr y is the replication of anothers behavior during the course of an interaction betwee n two or more persons (Chartrand &Bargh, 1999). Further, researchers have shown that a variety of animal species also mimic, from animals closer to humans in cognitive f unction like monkeys to less cognitively sophisticated animals like birds (Knipp enberg & Baaren, 2006).Mimicry can take many shapes, including verbal mimicry in the f orm of accents, speech inflection, or vernacular expressions and in the copying of motor behavior, such as hand gestures or bodily movements (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The cur rent study investigates the influence of situational factors on a persons like lihood to engage in mimicry. Mimicry and Imitation Though, mimicry and imitation seem similar on the surface, mimicry differs from imitation in that it occurs unintentionally and wit hout awareness (Lakin, Jefferis, Cheng, & Chartrand, 2003). Imitation, on the other hand, o ccurs with purpose and awareness (Lakin et al. 2003). Mimicry and imitation follow t he same general rule, however; evidence must exist of a causal relationship betwee n ones observation of a particular behavior and the subsequent production of that beha vior (Heyes, 2001).
Interest and Mimicry 2 The Chameleon Effect The chameleon effect is a recently discovered phen omenon that describes the unconscious mimicry of certain behaviors, specifica lly speech inflection and physical expressions (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The chameleo n effect refers to mimicry that is unintentional, and not goal directed, whereas consc ious imitation often has a conscious goal that motivates the behavior, such as the desir e to create a social connection (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The chameleon effects name describes the way the phenomenon manifests. Just as a chameleon can auto matically respond and change its color to mimic its surroundings, humans can unconsc iously mimic the behavior of those around them to match their social surroundings. Ch artrand and Bargh put together one of the first studies that attempted to intentionally i nvestigate the chameleon effect. This study focused on two motor behaviors, foot shaking and nose rubbing (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The study asked a confederate to ini tiate either foot shaking or nose rubbing while working with one participant on a tas k. The study results supported the existence of the chameleon effect, as participants who were exposed to a foot shaking confederate mimicked the behavior, and those partic ipants exposed to a nose rubbing confederate also mimicked that behavior (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Chartrand and Bargh demonstrated the automaticity of all mimicry in their study by asking participants a series of follow up questions that assessed wheth er they were aware they mimicked the confederate (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The majorit y of participants who did mimic stated no knowledge of ever performing either foot tapping or nose rubbing which suggests that the participants mimicry was unconsc ious (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999).
Interest and Mimicry 3 Further, the confederate was a complete stranger to all participants and as such the participant had no real motivation to mimic the con federate in order to please them or bond with them, which supports the theory that ther e is an automatic link between social perception and individual behavior (Chartrand & Bar gh, 1999). Prior to the research on the chameleon effect, ex perimenters often used mimicry and imitation interchangeably to describe replicati on of all behavior. As research on the chameleon effect is still relatively new there are still many discrepancies in the literature on the differences between mimicry and imitation. For present purposes, this thesis will distinguish mimicry from imitation on the basis of whether the behavior is conscious or unconscious (imitation and mimicry, respectively). Types of Mimicry Mimicry can occur in a variety of ways, either ver bally or non-verbally. Verbal mimicry is a well known form of mimicry, especially with regards to accents (Cappella & Panalp, 1981). For instance, a person may visit the Deep South and start speaking with a slight southern twang, though they are from the nor th and never expressed a southern accent before (Capella & Panalp, 1981; Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Other examples of verbal mimicry include the copying of speech inflec tion, and syntax, as well as the adoption of common vernacular speech or slang words (Bailenson, & Yee, 2005). The vast array of non-verbal mimicry includes both sound-producing and non sound-producing motion. Previously researched moto r behaviors include specific seated and standing postures, and movements such as hand f lourishes and facial expressions (Bailenson, & Yee, 2005). Early research performed by expert hand writing analysts even found a form of unconscious imitation in styles o f handwriting (Starch, 1911).
Interest and Mimicry 4 Especially contagious behaviors include coughing, y awning, laughing, sniffing and sneezing (Platek, Mohamed, Gallup, & Gordon, 2005; Pennebaker, 1980). Highly contagious behaviors have a repetitive natu re and are common to the environment at hand, but the contagiousness of any particular behavior varies according to a number of personality and situational factors (Wang, 2006). Possible factors that could affect the contagiousness of a behavior inclu de the number of people in a situation where the behavior is performed, and the proximity of people to one another (Wang, 2006). One must also consider the strength and natu re of the relationship between the people when estimating the contagiousness of a beha vior (Lakin et al, 2003; Wang, 2006). The Development of Mimicry The development of mimicry in humans is important for numerous fields, including social and developmental psychology, anim al behavior, and even robotics. Researchers have two main questions in regards to t he development of mimicry: when and how does it first begin? Researchers have not yet come to a consensus on the first question of when humans first start mimicking. Ear ly research on the topic found newborns were able to mimic certain actions of adul ts, including head turning, opening of the mouth, and sticking out of the tongue. Research ers used these behaviors as evidence for the innate capacity to mimic (Meltzoff & Moore, 1977). However, researchers contest both the reliability and validity of this r esearch. Not all subsequent research was able to replicate these findings, and the behaviors used may not have accurately measured mimicry, as head turning, and opening of the mouth are commonly performed infantile
Interest and Mimicry 5 behaviors (Anisfeld, Turkewitz, Rose, Rosenberg, Sh eiber, Couturier-Fagan, & Ger, 2001). Current research has found ample evidence of mimic ry at two years of age, but researchers debate the ability to mimic at earlier ages. One study observed 162 children ranging in age from six months to three years old. The infants were primed to mimic an adult modeling eight different motor behaviors such as tapping, waving, and clapping (Jones, 2007). In this study, those who were six m onths never showed mimicry and only a negligible number showed mimicry between 8 and 12 months (most likely due to chance); then starting at two years old, mimicry be gan to slowly emerge and increase in frequency as participants increased in age (Jones, 2007). Many researchers continue to suggest that mimicry is an inborn mechanism, becaus e, if mimicry is innate, then it is also more plausible that mimicry is an evolutionary adap tation (Jones, 1996; Jones, 2007). Whether learned or innate, researchers do agree tha t, just as mimicry can create social cohesion in adults, mimicry also benefits children as a social learning tool. Through mimicry, a child repetitively engages in certain so cial behaviors developing a behavioral repertoire that will help them associate and commun icate in social environments (Jones, 1996). Further research is necessary to come to a consensus over issues concerning the development of mimicry in humans. Non-human Mimicry The research pertaining to the chameleon effect sp ans across the animal kingdom, from humans to apes and even to birds (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Though much of the initial research focused on humans, current researc h in animal behavior has focused on extending the phenomena to other animals. Distingu ishing between conscious and
Interest and Mimicry 6 unconscious behavior is a major obstacle in animal imitation and mimicry research (Heyes, 1993). An experimenter cannot simply ask a n animal if it realized that it performed a specific behavior after completion. One can see many examples of imitation in nature s uch as the flocking of birds, the schooling of fish, and the herding of mammals l ike cattle (Church, 1957). Many researchers would debate that these behaviors are n ot examples of true imitation however, because they seem to have a genetic compon ent (Church, 1957; Davis, 1973). Though there is a reproduction of behavior, imprint ing is another example of a behavior that is not true imitation. Imprinting is when a n ewly born animal, such as a duck, will follow the first moving object it sees, usually the mother (Hess, 1973). Many think that the animal is imitating the movements of the mother but rather imprinting is simply an example of social learning, completed via social co nditioning (Hess, 1973). Research also cites the camouflaging abilities of many animals as another example of false imitation (Davis, 1973). The Viceroy butterfly can change its appearance to resemble the Monarch butterfly in order to avoid predation (Turner, 1984 ). The butterflys camouflaging is obviously controlled through biological mechanisms and not through cognitive processes, and so is not an example of true imitation (Turner, 1984). Much of the initial animal behavior research in m imicry has focused on simply whether a specific species can consistently reprodu ce the target behavior, without regard to the consciousness of the behavior. One study i nvestigated true imitation in chimpanzees, that is imitation which is intentional and motivated by the circumstance (Heyes, 2003). Researchers trained chimpanzees to i mitate a number of different motor gestures performed by human experimenters, belly ru bbing, or hand raising (Heyes,
Interest and Mimicry 7 2003). After a number of successful trials, the ch impanzees began imitating gestures in which they were not trained (Heyes, 2003). This st udy shows evidence of spontaneous imitation in chimpanzees (Heyes, 2003). Great ape s that have extended contact with humans often show imitation of human movements, eve n of complex actions like opening a container, or preparing a food item in a particular manner (Byrne, 2009; Whiten, 1998). Research has even found signs of pos sible imitation in birds (Heyes, 2003). Certain experiments have shown birds can imi tate foraging behaviors (Heyes, 2003). In one study, Japanese quail successfully i mitated a conspecific demonstrators method of accessing food, by pushing a lever either with their beak or their feet (Akins & Zentall, 1998). Similar studies have been conducte d with other species of birds, including pigeons, European starlings, and Carib gr ackles, and these studies have produced similar results, showing that all of these birds are capable of untrained imitation (Heyes, 2003). After researchers found certain animals were capab le of imitation, further research focused on the implications of the imitati on to both the animal and its interaction partner. Experimenters found certain animals can use imitation as a learning tool (Heyes, 1993). When animals imitate the behaviors o r motions of those in their social network they learn behaviors like foraging or trave ling to help them survive, as well as numerous other survival and social behaviors (Heyes 1993). Research has also shown that certain animals use imitation as a tool for so cial cohesion (Heyes, 1993). When one animal imitates another, the animal can gain some s ocial affiliation with the animal they mimicked (Heyes, 1993). One study found evidence t hat imitation produces affiliation and rapport in Capuchin monkeys who preferred human experimenters that imitated them
Interest and Mimicry 8 over those that did not (Paukner, Suomi, Visalbergh i, &Ferrari, 2009). The monkeys showed their preference for being imitated by looki ng longer at, spending more time with, and following imitators over non-imitators (P aukner, 2009). When animals use imitation as a learning tool or as a tool for socia l cohesion, they are performing what many believe is goal directed behavior (Heyes, 1993 ). Though, it is currently not possible to prove the intentionality of a birds or chimpanzees actions, many researchers can at least make some distinction between true imi tation and all other actions, such as behaviors like camouflaging, and imprinting. From the existing findings in animal imitation one can make the logical comparison betwe en the goal directed imitation in animals and the conscious, or intentional, imitatio n humans exhibit. A few studies have presented evidence suggesting t he possibility that animals also may perform an unintentional imitation, similar in some ways to the unconscious mimicry in humans. The study of contagious yawning is one of the best examples demonstrating possible unconscious mimicry. Paukner and Anderson have successfully induced yawning in Stumptail Macaques from a video of conspecific yawning (Paukner & Anderson, 2006). Chimpanzees have yawned in respo nse to a video of other chimpanzees yawning, and one study has even shown d omestic dogs yawning in response to human yawning (Anderson, Myowa-Yamakoshi, & Mats uzawa, 2004; JolyMascheroni, Senju & Sheperd, 2008). It is still im possible to know whether the animal is aware that it is contagiously yawning or if the ani mal is controlling its response. However, researchers have inferred that contagious yawning in animals is unintentional because the animals were not trained nor were they rewarded for yawning (Anderson, et al, 2004; Joly-Mascheroni et al, 2008; Paukner, 200 6).
Interest and Mimicry 9 Social Implications of Mimicry /Mimicry as a Tool Just as the chameleons camouflage abilities are a daptive, as they allow the chameleon to blend into the surroundings and evade predation, the mimicry in humans referred to as the chameleon effect is also adaptiv e (Jefferis, van Baaren, & Chartrand, 2009). Many studies have researched the social ben efits received from mimicking. Some of these studies have shown that mimicking can increase affiliation between two people (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). In one study a c onfederate either mimicked or did not mimic a participants verbal and nonverbal beha vior (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The participants who were mimicked liked the confederat e more than did those who were not mimicked (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Mimicking in s ocial situations can create camaraderie and rapport, mimicry is in essence a so cial glue (Lakin & Chartrand, 2003). One study found that when a participants interacti on partner mimicked them, they rated their partner higher on a rapport scale, and their interaction was smoother (LaFrance, 1982). A caveat to the affiliation and rapport pro duced as a result of the chameleon effect is that a person must perform the mimicry un consciously. If one performs the mimicry intentionally, then it is likely that the m imicry will be conspicuous and the interaction partner will notice. Previous research has shown that if a person is aware that someone is mimicking them they are actually less li kely to have a positive interaction with the mimicker, and are more likely to rate that person lower on a scale measuring affiliation and rapport (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). In more realistic settings, research has found tha t mimicry is an effective social tool in a number of ways. When a waiter or waitres s mimics their patrons verbal and nonverbal behavior, they are likely to receive a la rger tip (Van Baaren, Holland,
Interest and Mimicry 10 Steenaert, & Van Knippenberg, 2003). In a mock int erview situation, when candidates mimic their interviewers, they obtain a higher eval uation and employers are more likely to offer that candidate a job than those who did no t mimic (Van Baaren, Holland, Kawakami, & Van Knippenberg, 2004). Mimicrys eff ect as a social glue spans a number of environments and social relationships. S tudies have shown that a students mimicking of a teachers movements can enhance the student-teacher relationship (Bernieri, 1988). When a therapist mimics their pa tients posture, the strength of the connection a patient feels with their therapist inc reases (Maurer, & Tindall, 1983). Research has also found that behaviors such as ciga rette smoking and alcohol consumption are influenced by others actions. One such study found that participants smoking behavior, including the way in which they h eld their cigarette and the amount they smoked, matched their confederate smoking part ners (Harakeh, Engels, Van Baaren, & Scholte, 2007). People also mimic others drinking behaviors in every aspect of consumption, from the type of drink chosen to th e rate and amount of consumption (Gueguen, Jacob, & Martin, 2009). Mimicry also serves communicative purposes. Some researchers have postulated that nonverbal mimicry initially existed because it helped both social dyads and groups communicate without vocalization (Bavelas, Black, C hovil, Lemery, & Mullett, 1988). Mimicry can help complete an effective communicatio n link between two people. Posture is an example of nonverbal communicative mi micry. Person A may perceive person Bs posture, which can reveal certain aspect s of person Bs personality. Person A may then unconsciously mimic as a way to communicat e they have successfully
Interest and Mimicry 11 perceived what person B is trying to tell them via posture (Barsalou, Niedenthal, Barbey, & Ruppert, 2003). Mimicry can act as a feedback system (Bavelas, Bla ck, Lemury, & Mullet, 1986). When a person feels a certain way, someone can mimi c that persons feelings or can display a physical representation of that persons emotion (Bavelas et al, 1986). For example, if a person experiences an injury, their i nteraction partner may wince. This wince is an act of communication in a number of way s. The wince shows that one not only understands what pain is and understands how t o represent pain, but they also understand someone elses pain. During verbal comm unication, one can also use mimicry to further effective communication (Capella & Panalp, 1981). People can mimic almost every part of a verbal communicative interac tion, such as postures, mannerisms, rate of speech, accents, and tone of voice (Capella & Panalp, 1981). Studies have found that having synchrony during an interaction can spe ed the rate of understanding between two people, smooth their overall interaction, and i ncrease their cooperation (Barsalou et al., 2003). Neural Basis of Mimicry Because unconscious mimicry is distinct from consc ious imitation, researchers speculate that mimicrys neural basis is also diffe rent from imitation (Leslie, JohnsonFrey, & Grafton, 2004; Schurmann, Hesse, Stephan, S aarela, Zilles, & Hari, 2005; Platek, Mohamed, Gallup, & Gordon, 2005). A number of rese archers have examined brain activity during mimicry using a variety of methods and have found varying results.
Interest and Mimicry 12 Science has not yet found the specific neural mecha nisms underlying unconscious mimicry, but several studies have made advances wit h their findings. Research has recently found a possible connection between intentional or conscious imitation and activity in the inferior fr ontal gyrus, part of Brocas area (Heyes, 2001). Some research has shown evidence for the ex istences of specific neurons named mirror neurons, in this part of the brain, which so me believe are specialized for imitation (Heyes, 2001). Researchers postulate that mirror n eurons are activated when one person views another persons behavior and subsequently as sist in the performance of the same behavior (Keysers, 2009). Some believe mirror neur ons may explain humans ability to learn through imitation (Rizzolatti & Craighero, 20 04). Direct evidence of individual neurons recorded in the supposed mirror neuron locations of the human brain does not exist, but th ere is indirect evidence from neurophysiologic and brain imaging experiments supp orting their existence (Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004; Keysers, 2009). EEG and Transcran ial Magnetic Stimulation have shown that humans motor cortex becomes active not just during individual action, but in the viewing of someone elses action (Rizzolatti & Craighero, 2004). One study found the bilateral dorsal and ventral premotor regions o f Brocas areawere active during the conscious imitation of motor behaviors, such as han d movements, like grasping and reaching (Leslie, Johnson-Frey, & Grafton, 2004). Contagious yawning does not fit the mold of consci ously imitated behaviors as it does not follow the postulated mirror neuron circui t like conscious imitation (Heyes, 2001). Some researchers hypothesize that contagiou s yawning is a result of a theory of mind, a key aspect of self processing, which is th e ability to infer or empathize with
Interest and Mimicry 13 what others want, know or intend to do (Platek, Cr itton, Myers, & Gordon, 2003). Biologically, some research has found that a specif ic neurological substrate may be in charge of ones theory of mind, which allows one to perform empathic modeling of another (Platek et al., 2003). Researchers believe that this substrate activates whenever someone sees another person yawn, which triggers on es own need to model or mimic the behavior (Platek et al., 2003). fMRI scans have shown that unconscious mimicry se ems to bypass the mirror neuron system completely, which is perhaps w hat separates it at the neural level from conscious imitation (Schrmann et al., 2005). One study found participants contagious yawning activated the ingulate and precu neus gyrus (Platek et al., 2005; Schurmann, Hesse, Stephan, Saarela, Zilles, & Hari, 2005). In this study, contagious yawning did not activate Brocas area (Platek et al ., 2005). Brocas area is the main location of the Mirror Neuron System, a key area th at many believe is responsible for conscious imitation (Schrmann et al., 2005). Cu rrently, though, researchers have not conducted enough studies to provide direct evidence for the neural basis of unconscious mimicry. Contagious yawning is the only example of unconscious mimicry studied at a neurobiological level and has only provided indirec t evidence of a possible neural distinction between conscious imitation and unconsc ious mimicry. The Perception-Behavior Link Researchers postulate that one mechanism through w hich unconscious mimicry occurs is the perception-behavior link (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). The perception-action link states that when a person thinks about engagin g in a certain behavior, that person is more likely to actually perform that behavior (Char trand & Bargh, 1999). It is important
Interest and Mimicry 14 to note though, in regards to unconscious mimicry, the perception of the behavior is a very rapid and unconscious process. It is not thin king in the everyday sense of the term. This mechanism stems from the theoretical idea that it is a humans natural tendency to act, or at least think about acting in the same way as someone else (Dijksterhuis, & Bargh, 2001). The thought that perception is for un derstanding of ones environment is only the beginning. Understanding of ones environm ent is key to taking appropriate subsequent action (Bargh, 1997). This perception-behavior mechanism is flexible, t hough. In humans, perceiving does not always lead to action. Just because a pers on sees someone yawn and may also feel the urge to yawn there is no guarantee that th e person will mimic the yawn. Humans utilize many cognitive resources during the process of perception, and so, even though a person may feel the impulse to act, this person has the ability to inhibit that impulse (Dijksterhuis & Bargh, 2001). Inhibition is not th e only piece of the puzzle, however. There are a number of factors that contribute to ho w likely someone is to accept the impulse to mimic. One factor affecting the likelih ood of mimicry is inherent in the behavior performed; as mentioned previously some be haviors are more contagious than others (Wang, 2006). The impulse to mimic also exi sts within the person, as some people have certain characteristics that make them more su sceptible to mimicry (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Factors Influencing Susceptibility to Mimic Empathy. There are a number of factors found to make a perso n more likely to engage in unconscious mimicry. Researchers have th oroughly studied empathy, a
Interest and Mimicry 15 personality factor found to influence ones suscept ibility to mimic in a number of ways. Empathy, in this regard, is defined as the recognit ion and comprehension of another persons current state or condition (Bavelas, Lemer y, & Mullett, 1987). Generally, empathy has a positive linear relationship to the l ikelihood of mimicry (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999; Bavelas et al., 1987; Bailenson, Yee, Patel, & Beall, 2008; Leslie, JohnsonFrey, & Grafton, 2004). One study asked participants, along with a confed erate who was performing a series of foot shaking and face scratching behavior s, to complete a photo description task (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Researchers then used vi deo recording to measure participant mimicry (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). Each participan t also filled out a self report measure of empathy (Chartrand &Bargh, 1999). Result s showed that those who had higher empathy scores were more likely to mimic tha n those who scored lower (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). A study of autistic children further verifies empa thys role in mimicry. Researchers found children with autism spectrum dis order were far less likely to yawn in response to the viewing of another yawn than normal ly developing children (Senju, Maeda, Kikuchi, Hasegawa, Tojo, & Osanai, 2007). A utistic children usually lack an ability to understand and feel empathy, and childre n with autism score low on tests measuring empathic processing and displays of empat hy, as well as other social abilities (Senju et al., 2007). This evidence further support s a possible link between susceptibility to contagious yawning and empathy (Senju et al., 20 07). It is important to note that, though autistic children seem unable to contagiousl y yawn, they can successfully yawn
Interest and Mimicry 16 spontaneously, which also suggests that contagious yawning has a different underlying mechanism than natural yawning (Giganti & EspositoZiello, 2009). Social Connection. Similar to empathys impact on mimicry, an existin g social connection, such as a shared opinion, increases the likelihood of mimicry (Van Swol, 2006). Not only does unconscious mimicry help to c reate a social connection between two people, but having a previous social connection increases the likelihood mimicry will occur in that relationship (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999 ; Van Swol, 2006). Mimicry is a two way street, in that previously having a social conn ection with someone can enhance susceptibility to mimic that person, but mimicking can also enhance, or even create, a social connection (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999; Van Swo l, 2006). Self Monitoring. Research has also found a strong relationship betwe en selfmonitoring and unconscious mimicry. Self-monitorin g is the extent to which people are concerned with how others perceive them and the ext ent to which they modify their behavior to create a desired impression (Cheng & Ch artrand, 2003). A high self-monitor is someone who is very attuned to social situations and adapts his or her behavior to please others and fit in (Confer & Kontos, 2006). A low self-monitor is less concerned with what others think and finds it difficult to ch ange, or lacks motivation to change who they are to fit in with their social environment (C onfer & Kontos, 2006). High selfmonitors are more likely than low self-monitors to unconsciously mimic an interaction partner (Confer & Kontos, 2006; Cheng & Chartrand, 2003; LaFrance, 1979). High selfmonitors usually develop strong rapport and affilia tion with others, so naturally, since unconscious mimicry also enhances social connection s, high self-monitors will exhibit a high amount of mimicry.
Interest and Mimicry 17 High self monitors are also more likely to mimic pro-social behaviors, or happy behaviors such as laughing, and smiling (Es tow, Jamieson, & Yates, 2006). Researchers believe high self monitors mimic pro-so cial behaviors more because doing so enhances social connections (Estow et al, 2006). Gender. Gender is a factor that is associated with mimicry, but its relationship has been variable. Since most studies have reported we ak effect sizes or confounds, the current consensus is that one gender is not more li kely than the other to engage in unconscious mimicry (Cloud & Kontos, 2006). One st udy did find, however, that males reported higher likeability ratings of a confederat e who mimicked them than did females (Bailenson & Yee, 2007). The correlation between m imicry and gender is complex and therefore requires extensive future research in the area. Mood. The current mood of a person has a strong impact on the likelihood of mimicry occurring. Generally, those who are in a p ositive mood are more likely to engage in unconscious mimicry than those who are in either a mixed/stable mood or a negative mood (Van Baaren, Fockenberg, & Holland, 2 006). Mood is also connected to other characteristics that influence susceptibility to mimic. Positive mood increases the likelihood of pro-social behavior and the developme nt of a pro-social interaction (Van Baaren, Holland, Kawakami, & Van Knippenberg, 2004) Also, a person is more likely to exhibit unconscious mimicry in conjunction with pro -social behaviors, as this will assist in the development of pro-social interactions (Van Baaren et al, 2004). Variables that enhance the positive social relationship between tw o people, such as empathy, self monitoring, and mood, will positively affect the su sceptibility to mimicry.
Interest and Mimicry 18 Engagement and Mimicry Existing research strongly focuses on personality characteristics affecting ones likelihood to mimic another, such as empathy, self monitoring, and gender. Most research in the field of mimicry has left other fac tors, such as situational variables, relatively untouched, with the exception of mood. One such variable is interest level, or the degree to which a person is engaged with his or her environment. The current research looks beyond personality characteristics t o find out whether there is a correlation between the degree to which someone is interested i n his or her environment and how likely that person is to unconsciously mimic those in that environment. The current study hypothesized that those who are more engaged in a particular situational task are less likely to mimic. When som eone is engaged in a task, they dedicate more cognitive resources and overall atten tion to the completion of that task, and in doing so, pay less attention to the behavior of those around them (see figure 1). It is less likely that a person highly engaged in a certa in activity will even perceive the behavior of another, because they simply are paying less attention to that behavior. It is even less likely that the person will cognitively p rocess the behavior in a way necessary to produce mimicry, because so much is already cogn itively invested in the task at hand. In following with the perception-behavior link, if one is highly cognitively invested in some task, he or she is also less likely to perceiv e his or her own desire or need to perform the behavior. The following research extends the current knowled ge of factors affecting susceptibility to mimicry, the perception-behavior link, and the connection between the
Interest and Mimicry 19 conscious and unconscious. This study also seconda rily investigates how conscious thought and activity effect the production of uncon scious action. Method Participants Participants included 40 college students, 31 fema les, and 9 males, ranging in age from 18 years old to 23 years old. Participants we re randomly assigned to one of two conditions: a high interest task condition or a low interest task condition, with 25 participants in each. The experimenter recruited participants through a variety of mechanisms to best blanket the campus and give the entirety of the div erse student body a chance for participation. Aside from word of mouth, a school list-serv sent emails out to the subscribed student body. In addition, recruitment f lyers were available in various locations around the campus. The participants were the first forty students to respond via email with interest. Once participants scheduled a n appointment for experimentation, a computer program randomly assigned them a unique nu mber combination in order to maintain their anonymity. Although participants we re videotaped the researcher was unaware of any their personal information, such as their names. Procedure The experimenter gave an informed consent form to each participant before their involvement, though the full details of the studys research topic were left out, (otherwise, true unconscious mimicry would not occu r). After initial instruction, the
Interest and Mimicry 20 video camera began recording and the experimenter a ssigned each participant, alongside a same-gender confederate, a written task, they tho ught was used to measure their involvement as a function of their interest level. Each task came with a set of written instructions, and was either a high interest origin al literature task or low interest statistics task. Each participant had 10 minutes to read and cross out all es in their task as completely and accurately as possible. The confederates acted as participants, and perfor med a mixed set of nonverbal behaviors that included coughing/throat clearing, f inger tapping and sniffing. The confederates memorized the behavior set and used it for every trial; they performed coughing/throat clearing at the 30 second mark, the n finger tapping at the 1 minute mark, while sniffing first occurred at 1 minute and 30 se conds. This general pattern occurred for the entirety of the 10 minutes. The set time stamp s for behavior initiation were seemingly random so that their performance did not appear intentional (see Appendix A). After completion of the task, participants filled out the follow-up questionnaire to help account for several additional variables (see Appendix B). Then the experimenter asked participants a number of questions prior to d ebriefing that were coded alongside the presence of mimicry. The experimenter used the se questions to analyze the participants awareness of the confederates perfor mance of behaviors. The participant first answered a simple recall question where they gave a yes or no answer: Were you aware of what the other participant was doing durin g the task?. If the participant answered yes, they continued to answer a series of recognition follow up questions. The follow-up questions directly assessed the participa nts awareness of the confederates performance of nonverbal behaviors. These follow-u p questions were worded in a yes or
Interest and Mimicry 21 no format with distracter behaviors imbedded to ens ure accuracy of answers: Did you notice the other participant (tap their pencil/coug h/tap their foot/sniff/snap)? And did you notice yourself perform any of the previously menti oned behavior? The verbal follow up questions helped to elucidate the consciousness of any mimicry that the participant performed, and the degree to which their attention was directed at the task. This study used these questions, in accompaniment with the fol low-up questionnaire, to obtain a full picture of the interaction between the performance of unconscious mimicry and interest level. After the verbal questionnaire, the experim enter debriefed participants according to a set script (see Appendix C). The coders completed coding of videotaped footage according to a set of coding guidelines. The coder fast forwarded each tape to the time stamp where the confederate initiated behavior, and then played past the behavi or for 20 seconds. If the participant did not mimic within 20 seconds after the confederate p erformed the behavior, then it was not counted, and the coder forwarded the videotape to the next time stamp. The behavior had to be seen and heard clearly in the footage. I n regard to finger tapping, at least one finger had to rise from the air to hit the table on either hand at least twice to be coded as a mimicked behavior. For sniffing to be coded as a co mplete mimicked behavior, nasal constriction had to occur. For coughing or throat c learing to be counted as mimicked behavior, the participant had to make an audible so und associated with coughing. The diaphragm and throat movement were also used as a c lue to mimicked coughing. If a completed behavior was coded then the tape was forw arded to the next time stamp. A behavior could not occur more than once in response to a confederates initiation. As each confederate performed only eight behaviors, ea ch participant could mimic a
Interest and Mimicry 22 maximum of eight total behaviors. Coding was recor ded on a coding chart and an independent coder checked 15% of all data for relia bility with 94% coding agreement (see Appendix D). The independent coder was traine d and tested in all coding guidelines prior to coding. Materials The experimenter randomly assigned each participan t to a written task. Both tasks required the same skill set, reading and mark ing. Both tasks required participants to cross out the letter e from a written passage. Th is assignment was similar to a proofreading task and, as such, could either have b een monotonous and tedious or interesting and appealing, depending on how engagin g the reading material was to the participant. The high interest task had more engagi ng reading material, a compilation of original short stories and poetry. College student s wrote the short stories and poetry specifically for this project so no one had read th em prior to experimentation. For the low interest task, reading material was an excerpt taken from the statistics manual, Introduction to Probability by Charles M. Grinste ad and Laurie J. Snell published in 1997. Previous ego depletion studies have successf ully implemented a similar task as a low interest task, due to its monotonous, tedious, and simplistic qualities (e.g., Wheeler, Brinol, & Hermann, 2007). This study used one male and one female confederat e, whose main purpose was to discreetly initiate a set of nonverbal behaviors th at participants could mimic. The confederates went through extensive training prior to experimentation so that they performed the behaviors in a spontaneous and discre te manner, and their training
Interest and Mimicry 23 performances were videotaped and coded so that both confederates performance of the behaviors matched one anothers. During the experi mental trials the confederates used a stopwatch disguised as a wristwatch to time the ini tiation of each behavior according to a set of memorized time stamps (see Appendix A). Th e confederate was always the same gender as the participant to control for empathy as an alternate reason for engaging in mimicry and for any possible gender effects (Guegue n et al., 2009). Also, a video camera recorded both the participan t and confederate during each experimental trial. The experimenter told all parti cipants that they would be videotaped but were not told the true purpose of the study. Th e experimenter told participants the video recorder was a tool to measure certain physic al signs of interest. There was a Sony Cybershot video camera positioned in front of the p articipant and another facing the confederate. Both cameras focused on the upper bod y. The experimenter videotaped participants to code for mimicry, the actual task o n the table was cropped out during coding to maintain researcher blindness. The video camera recorded the confederates behavior since it would appear conspicuous to the p articipant if the confederate were not videotaped. Also the experimenter used the confede rates video footage to code and review their performance. Participants filled out a follow-up questionnaire after completion of their task which accounted for several additional variables. The first part of the follow-up questionnaire was the PANAS, Positive and Negative Affect Schedule, which measured the participants mood (e.g., Thompson, 2007) (see Appendix B1). Previous studies have found mood to correlate positively with susceptibil ity to mimicry (Van Baaren et al., 2004). Mood and interest could also correlate. For example an interesting task may put
Interest and Mimicry 24 someone in a good mood, and a low interest task may put someone in a bad mood. Thus, it was important to account for mood as an alternat e mechanism in susceptibility to mimic, and so participants took the PANAS after the y completed their task in order to divorce mood as much as possible from the variable of interest level. The experimenter modified the PANAS form to remove items that direc tly tapped interest level. The follow-up questionnaire also consisted of a scale t hat assessed the degree to which the tasks were interesting to the participant and a sca le that assessed the participants conscious awareness of the confederates behavior ( see Appendix B2). Results Interest Level The conditions of this study were designated by th eir task type. The reading material differed in order to affect the interest l evel of the participant. Original fiction literature was intended to induce high interest, an d a statistics text was intended to induce low interest. This study analyzed the success of t hese manipulations, participants rated the high interest task with a mean of 2.45 out of 5 ( SD = 1.85, SE = 0.41) and the low interest task with a mean of 1.45 out of 5 ( SD = 1.61, SE =0.36). Though not statistically significant, analyses yielded a trend closely appro aching significance, t (38)= -1.83, p =0.076, with a marginally significant difference be tween the interest levels in the two tasks. Amount of Mimicry All 31 participants who performed any mimicry conf irmed they did not realize nor had any memory that they had mimicked. This con firmed that all mimicry performed
Interest and Mimicry 25 in this study was non-conscious and unintentional. This study recorded possible mimicry for each of the eight behaviors across both conditi ons. The mean sum for mimicry of all eight behaviors in the high interest condition was 0.8 times ( SD =1.05, SE = 0.24) while in the low interest condition the mean was 3.2 time s ( SD = 1.32, SE = 0.30). The data had a bimodal distribution, and so data were analyz ed with a non-parametric MannWhitney test. However, since a parametric independe nt samples t test yielded similar results, the latter are reported for ease of interp retation1. There was a statistically significant difference in the amount of mimicry bet ween the high interest and low interest condition for the sum of all eight behaviors, t (38)=6.34, p <0.01, with more mimicry occurring in the low interest condition. The patte rn of mimicry was consistent across all eight individual behaviors as well, in that there w as more mimicry in the low interest condition than the high interest condition. This p attern was also statistically significant for five of the eight behaviors, and marginally sig nificant for two other behaviors. Perception of Confederates Behavior The verbal pre-debriefing questions assessing whet her the participant noticed the confederates performance of the three coded behavi ors, sniffing, finger tapping and coughing, were combined to give the participant a noticing score. The noticing score was taken out of three possible behaviors, as all 4 0 participants did not acknowledge or notice the imbedded fake behaviors. The participant noticed the confederate perform an 1 The results of the Mann-Whitney test for the frequ ency of mimicry were in the expected direction, with mimicry significantly higher in the low interest condition, z =-4.54, p <0.01
Interest and Mimicry 26 average of 2.4 behaviors in the low interest condit ion ( SD = 1.67, SE = 0.37) and an average of 1.3 behaviors in the high interest condi tion ( SD = 1.59, SE = 0.36). These results take into account general perception of the behavior but do not account for how often the participant noticed the confederate, as t he confederate performed each of the three behaviors more than once. A Mann-Whitney U test was used again to analyze this bimodal data, but the t-test mirrored its results2. There was a statistically significant effect in perception of the confederates behavior, t (38)=2.13, p =0.039, in that participants noticed more behaviors in the low interest conditio n over the high interest condition. To further investigate the role of perception in the o ccurrence of mimicry, this study performed a correlation between the amount of mimic ry and the amount of perception in both conditions. The two variables, the amount of m imicry, and the perception of the confederates behavior are strongly and positively correlated, r (38)=0.56, p <0.01. As the amount of mimicry increases, so does the perception of the confederates behavior, while both amount of perception and amount of mimicry are highest in the low interest condition. Though mimicry and perception were correlated, reg ression analysis showed that the perception-behavior link was not a mediating me chanism for mimicry, =0.36, t(38)=3.45, p >0.001. The perception of the confederates behavi or also did not explain the significant proportion of variance in mimicry b etween high and low interest conditions, R2 = 0.51, F(1,38) = 40.24, p >0.001. 2 The results of the Mann-Whitney test showed a sign ificant difference for perception of the confederate between conditions, with perception higher in the low interest condition, z =-2.18, p =0.035
Interest and Mimicry 27 Mood as an Alternate Mechanism The PANAS questionnaire assessed mood as a possibl e alternate mechanism in the difference of mimicry between the high interest and low interest condition. In order to account for the possibility that the different t asks influenced the participants mood, the sum of negative affect and positive affect scor es were taken from the PANAS. Those in the high interest condition had a mean negative affect of 12.65 out of 50 ( SD = 2.48, SE = 0.55), and those in the low interest group had a mean negative affect of 13.85 ( SD = 3.53, SE = 0.79). Mean positive affect for the high intere st condition was 14.70 out of 47 ( SD = 5.15, SE = 1.15) and 14.05 for the low interest condition ( SD = 5.65, SE = 1.26). There was no significant difference in either the p ositive affect, t (38)= -0.38, p = -0.71, or negative affect, t (38)= 1.24, p = 0.22, of participants between conditions. Mood was relatively constant after the completion of both th e high interest and low interest task and therefore could not account for the difference in a mount of mimicry between conditions. Discussion The Effect of Interest Level on Mimicry This study chose to examine the previously underst udied effect of situational variables, specifically the interest level of the e nvironment on mimicry. The statistically significant difference in the amount of mimicry bet ween the high interest and low interest task is direct support for the original hypothesis that mimicry is more prevalent during the completion of a low interest task than during that of a high interest task. Though the manipulations of task type may only have induced a marginally significant difference in interest level, it speaks to the strength of the mi micry. The designated high interest task
Interest and Mimicry 28 received slightly higher interest ratings than the low interest task, and, with only this small difference, there was still a significantly s trong effect in the amount of mimicry between these conditions. A relatively small manipu lation in the interest level of a person can affect unconscious mimicry, as shown in this st udy. Interest Level Condition Success The interest level manipulations needed to maintai n consistency between the two tasks so they were comparable during analysis. The only difference between tasks was the type of reading material. Participants interact ed with the material in the same way across both tasks, via proofreading, which allowed for more valid comparisons of the conditions. Previous research on ego depletion has shown that the crossing out of "es" induces boredom and fatigue and therefore could hav e led to a smaller difference in induced interest between conditions, leaning toward s a lower interest for both tasks. There were very few extreme high interest responses (5 out of 5), even in the high interest task, but the high interest task still did receive marginally significant higher interest ratings than did the low interest task. F urther time in researching a different reading choice, or a different task altogether, whi ch induces more engagement across more people could result in this difference becomin g statistically significant. Mood as Mediating Mechanism This study controlled for mood, and found it did n ot play any part in ones susceptibility to mimicry. Mood may have been an a lternate mechanism to explain why the amount of mimicry would differ between interest conditions, as previous research has shown that mood does play a role in mimicry. Mood could have been tied to someones
Interest and Mimicry 29 interest level, in that those who were more interes ted in a task would be happy and those who were not would be frustrated or angry. One can never remove mood from the equation, but when analyzed, mood had no effect on the significant change in mimicry between conditions. This leaves interest level as the only variable left in the equation, giving definitive evidence that a persons interest level in his or her environment impacts the likelihood that he or she will mimic someone el se. The Perception Behavior Links Role A secondary hypothesis of the study posited the pe rception-behavior link as a mediating mechanism in the effect of interest level on mimicry. This study hypothesized that during the completion of a highly interesting task a person is more likely to devote more attention to the task and less attention to th eir surroundings, therefore making it less likely they would perceive the confederates behavi or, resulting in a decreased likelihood of mimicry. The participants self reported percept ion of the confederate and the confederates performance of the recorded behaviors were used to measure the connection between perception and mimicry as effect ed by interest level. As a variable by itself, perceiving the confederates behavior wa s significantly different across interest levels, changing in the same way as mimicry. Furth ermore, perception and mimicry were positively correlated across conditions. The perce ption of the confederate, in this study, plays a role in the development of mimicry, but is not a mediating mechanism. According to regression analysis, noticing the behavior of th e confederate cannot be the sole factor behind interests effect on ones likelihood of mim icry.
Interest and Mimicry 30 These results do support the previous research on the perception-behavior link which states that perception and behavior are ine xtricably intertwined because there was a strong correlation between perception and mim icry (Chartrand, Maddux & Lakin, 2005). Perception and behavior must be intertwined but there may be other factors that are involved in this connection, which this study d id not take into account. Most researchers agree perception involves both co nscious and unconscious processes, but this study only measured conscious p erception and, in doing so, could have missed a crucial piece of the perception-behavior l ink. As this study examined unconscious mimicry, there is a strong likelihood t hat unconscious perception also occurred. Though some contention exists about the r ole of unconscious processing in perception, there is a wide body of evidence that s upports its functioning in more fundamental and low level representations (Fisk & H aase, 2005). Unconscious mimicry is a fundamental and automatic behavior that could fit under the umbrella of unconscious perceptions control. Future Research Further research on mimicry and interest should f irst focus on finding two tasks that are still comparable but produce a more signif icant difference in perceived interest level than this study. It was difficult in this st udy to create a definitively high interest and low interest task for a large sample, as peop le have varying personalities and interests. One task may not appear the same to eve n two different people, let alone 40. One can remedy this situation with more extensive p iloting and interest investigation questionnaires. Future studies could administer a q uestionnaire that assesses likes and
Interest and Mimicry 31 dislikes, in terms of things like favorite hobbies and classes and least favorite hobbies and classes. Then, this study could create a high-inte rest task that involves the most popular likes from the questionnaire and use the opposite information to create the low-interest task. If one can find two comparable tasks that ar e significantly different in interest levels across a number of populations, one should p erform a similar study using those tasks. This line of research would find more highly interesting and uninteresting tasks useful in assessing whether the amount of mimicry i ncreases beyond what was found in this study or if interests effect on mimicry has a threshold. This study needs further research to make clearer the role of the perception behavior link in the manifestation of mimicry as a result of interest level. A future study should account for the involvement of unconscious p erception, as well as the interplay between conscious and unconscious perception in the perception-behavior link. One cannot accurately analyze the perception-behavior l ink as a mediating mechanism for mimicry without fully measuring perception. A future extension of this study could use an impl icit perception test to test the involvement of unconscious perception in mimicry. O ne commonly used procedure is the dissociation paradigm, where one variable examines conscious awareness, usually via stimulus detection, and another variable examines u nconscious processing or perception (Fisk & Haase, 2005). In this case, the stimulus d etection test would be the completion of a high or low interest task during confederate m imicry, and the accompanying questions would determine conscious perception of t he confederates behavior. This study would have an additional task given to assess unconscious perception. A basic word discrimination task would suffice, and, imbedd ed in the task, would be words that
Interest and Mimicry 32 were indicative of the confederates behavior, such as the word sneeze or cough. Whether the participant chose those words as famil iar would give some indication of whether unconscious perception was also accompanyin g the conscious perception involved in mimicry. This paradigm could also dete rmine a threshold of perception necessary to elicit unconscious mimicry and any ind ividual differences within this threshold. If unconscious perception plays a role in the development of mimicry, there would be many more avenues for research. A key pla ce to start would be in finding the specific interplay between unconscious and consciou s perception responsible for performing the mechanism of the perception behavior link. One could investigate the more practical applicati ons for this researchs findings by emulating everyday encounters with mimicry. To build upon the current study one could investigate the effect of a wide array of int eresting and non-interesting environments that surpass simple paper and pencil t asks. Such environments could include lecture/classroom settings, or more active tasks such as playing a game or engaging in some type of sport. Interest is also ju st one aspect of a host of situational variables that could play a role in ones susceptib ility to unconsciously mimic another. Researching thoroughly all factors that could play a role in mimicry is a worthwhile endeavor as it could lead to a more full understand ing of the function of mimicry in peoples lives. One could use this studys manipulations with a co ntrolled sample to further examine gender or other demographic variables. The re is mixed evidence on gender differences in performance of unconscious mimicry, and, although this study did not control for gender, extensions of this research cou ld help create a clearer picture of
Interest and Mimicry 33 genders role in mimicry. Future research should be gin to examine these variables to create a more complete picture of exactly when, whe re, and how a person will mimic. Conclusion This study did find, as hypothesized, that the sit uational factor of interest level effects susceptibility to mimicry. Participants who mimicked the most were most often in the low interest inducing condition, and participan ts who mimicked the least or not at all were almost always in the high interest inducing co ndition. Even though the tasks were not optimally effective, there was a general trend in that participants found the high interest task slightly more interesting than the lo w interest task. When this study investigated the perception-behavior link as a medi ating mechanism for mimicry it was found to correlate with amount of mimicry but was n ot the sole mediator in its occurrence. The perception involved in mimicry is most likely unconscious, which this study did not measure, and so future research shoul d adjust methods for measuring the perception-behavior link to accurately account for the entirety of perception. Mimicry is a fascinating phenomenon that surrounds everyone and may have significant impact on relationships and daily interactions with others. So, extending this studys research could be extremely valuable.
Interest and Mimicry 34 nrnr n rnn= Mimicry Interest level Perception Perception-behavior link Figure 1. Model of hypothesis: the trend between interest l evel and mimicry as mediated by perception.
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Interest and Mimicry 44 Appendix A Set Time Stamps for Performance of Nonverbal Behavi or by Confederates Time Behavior 0:30 1:00 1:30 2:00 3:00 4:00 5:00 9:00 Clear throat/cough Finger tapping Sniffing Finger tapping Sniffing Sniffing Clear throat/cough Finger tapping
Interest and Mimicry 45 Appendix B Follow-Up Questionnaire 1. PANAS : Positive and Negative Affect Schedule The International Positive and Negative Affect Sche dule Modified Form (I-PANAS) Question, Measure, and Item Order This scale consists of a number of words and phras es that describe different feelings and emotions. Read each item and then mark the appropri ate answer in the space next to that word. Indicate to what extent you feel this way right now Use the following scale to record your answers: 1 2 3 4 5 Very slightly a little moderately quite a bit extremely Or not at all 1. ______ cheerful 2. ______ disgusted 3. ______ bashful 4. ______ sluggish 5. ______ daring 6. ______ surprised 7. ______ strong 8. ______ scornful 9. ______ relaxed 10. ______ irritable 11. ______ delighted 12. ______ fearless 13. ______ disgusted with self 14. ______ sad 15. ______ calm 16. ______ afraid 17. ______ tired 18. ______ amazed 19. ______ shaky 20. ______ happy
Interest and Mimicry 46 21. ______ timid 22. ______ alone 23. ______ alert 24. ______ upset 25. ______ angry 26. ______ bold 27. ______ blue 28. ______ shy 29. ______ guilty 30. ______ joyful 31. ______ nervous 32. ______ lonely 33. ______ sleepy 34. ______ excited 35. ______ hostile 36. ______ proud 37. ______ jittery 38. ______ lively 39. ______ ashamed 40. ______ at ease 41. ______ scared 42. ______ drowsy 43. ______ angry at self 44. ______ enthusiastic 45. ______ downhearted 46. ______ sheepish 47. ______ distressed 48. ______ blameworthy 49. ______ determined 50. ______ frightened 51. ______ astonished 52. ______ loathing 53. ______ confident 54. ______ energetic 55. ______ dissatisfied with self 2. Scale Assessing Participants Interest in Task How interesting did you find your activity to be? 1 2 3 4 5 Very much Not at all
Interest and Mimicry 47 Appendix C Debriefing Script Statement to be read by researcher to each particip ant after completion of task I would like to thank you for your participation i n this study. I would like to tell you a little more about my research. This research is as sessing the role of interest in unconscious nonverbal mimicry. The other participa nt in the experiment with you, is in fact, a confederate, or a fake participant. They w ere planted to induce you to unconsciously mimic certain behaviors they were per forming, specifically sniffing, finger tapping, and coughing. I am looking to see if ther e is a link between the amount that a person mimics and the degree to which they are inte rested in the task they are completing. Your video tape will be used to assess how often y ou mimicked, but it will be kept confidential, and will always be kept in a locked f iling cabinet to maintain you anonymity. If you feel uncomfortable at all, or no longer wan t to be a part of my experiment, just let me know, and I will immediately remove your data fr om my study. If you have any questions about your participation in this experiment, now, or at any time later in the year, feel free to contact me or my thesis sponsor at the email address on your informed consent sheet.
Interest and Mimicry 48 If you would like to be kept up to date on the res ults of my research once they have been analyzed, email me and I will reply near the end of the spring semester with that information. Thank you, again, for your participation
Interest and Mimicry 49 Appendix D Coding Charts 1. Coding Chart for Mimicry Participant Condition (high interest = H) (Low interest = L) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Mimicking If YES = 1 If NO = 0
Interest and Mimicry 50 Appendix D Coding Charts 2. Coding Chart for Verbal Questions Participant Condition (H or L) Gen. Recognition Q.1 Finger Tap Q. 2a Yawn Q. 2b Foot Tap Q. 2c Cough Q. 2d Sniff Q. 2e Self recognition did you notice yourself perform any of these behaviors? Verbal Pre-Debriefing Questions Did you notice behavior of OTHER participant? If YES = 1 If NO = 2