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Status and Power Do Not Modulate Automatic Imitation of Intransitive Hand Movements

Farmer, H; Carr, EW; Svartdal, M; Winkielman, P; Hamilton, AFDC; (2016) Status and Power Do Not Modulate Automatic Imitation of Intransitive Hand Movements. PLoS ONE , 11 (4) , Article e0151835. 10.1371/journal.pone.0151835. Green open access

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Abstract

The tendency to mimic the behaviour of others is affected by a variety of social factors, and it has been argued that such “mirroring” is often unconsciously deployed as a means of increasing affiliation during interpersonal interactions. However, the relationship between automatic motor imitation and status/power is currently unclear. This paper reports five experiments that investigated whether social status (Experiments 1, 2, and 3) or power (Experiments 4 and 5) had a moderating effect on automatic imitation (AI) in finger-movement tasks, using a series of different manipulations. Experiments 1 and 2 manipulated the social status of the observed person using an associative learning task. Experiment 3 manipulated social status via perceived competence at a simple computer game. Experiment 4 manipulated participants’ power (relative to the actors) in a card-choosing task. Finally, Experiment 5 primed participants using a writing task, to induce the sense of being powerful or powerless. No significant interactions were found between congruency and social status/power in any of the studies. Additionally, Bayesian hypothesis testing indicated that the null hypothesis should be favoured over the experimental hypothesis in all five studies. These findings are discussed in terms of their implications for AI tasks, social effects on mimicry, and the hypothesis of mimicry as a strategic mechanism to promote affiliation.

Type: Article
Title: Status and Power Do Not Modulate Automatic Imitation of Intransitive Hand Movements
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0151835
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0151835
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright: © 2016 Farmer et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Science & Technology, Multidisciplinary Sciences, Science & Technology - Other Topics, Nonconscious Behavioral Mimicry, Medial Prefrontal Cortex, Avoidance Motor Actions, Social-status, Interpersonal Perception, Opponents Gestures, Nonverbal Behavior, Mirror Neurons, Eye Contact, Stereotypes
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1508347
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