Monday, October 10, 2011
Mimicry can foster both rapport and threat.
Liu does experiments that illustrate two aspects of mimicry. Mimicry can bond people by fostering rapport and liking, but appears to have the opposite effect if participants in an interaction are primed by reminders of money. Money-primed participants liked a mimicking interaction partner less than they liked a nonmimicking partner, an effect that appears to have been due to enhanced feelings of threat. Their observations are consonant with studies that have shown that reminders of money elicit a self-sufficient state characterized by two tendencies: First, eagerness to pursue personal goals and freedom, persisting longer than others on difficult tasks and hesitating to ask for help; and second, acting more insensitive to others, desiring solo versus activities and showing more indifference to social exclusion.