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Abstract

Research on the chameleon effect has demonstrated that social benefits such as liking, safety, rapport, affiliation, and cohesion can be evoked through nonverbal imitation (e.g., body language and mannerisms). Herein we introduce the echo effect, a less researched phenomenon of verbal mimicry, in a real-world setting. Study participants, three-hundred and thirty currency exchange office customers, were assigned into one of three experimental and two control conditions. Careful attention to research design produced results that address issues raised in the mimicry literature, and more clearly define the boundaries of verbal mimicry. The results demonstrate that: while repetition of words is important in increasing an individual’s tendency to perform prosocial behaviors, the order in which they are repeated back is not; verbal mimicry is more powerful mechanism than dialogue; and, for non-mimicry control conditions, no response produces the same result as a brief response.
... Conversely, exclusions from a group or a weakening of ties decrease prosocial behavior [73]. Indeed, Prinstein and Cillessen note that helping someone join a conversation is a core prosocial behavior and studies have shown that increased linguistic accommodation [62,72] is associated with increased prosocial behavior [47] and trust [69]. ...
... To measure the formation of social bonds, we use four categories of metrics. First, building on the insight of Kulesza et al. [47], we measure linguistic accommodation between commenters using the methods of Danescu-Niculescu-Mizil et al.. Second, recognizing that increased conversation gives rise to social ties, we include metrics for (i) the total number of participants in a conversation, (ii) the longest number of sustained turns between two people, and (iii) the depth of the conversation's comment tree. Third, laughter, as a function of humor, is known to create positive affect between peers and increase cohesion among group members [4,36,64]. ...
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Online conversations can go in many directions: some turn out poorly due to antisocial behavior, while others turn out positively to the benefit of all. Research on improving online spaces has focused primarily on detecting and reducing antisocial behavior. Yet we know little about positive outcomes in online conversations and how to increase them-is a prosocial outcome simply the lack of antisocial behavior or something more? Here, we examine how conversational features lead to prosocial outcomes within online discussions. We introduce a series of new theory-inspired metrics to define prosocial outcomes such as mentoring and esteem enhancement. Using a corpus of 26M Reddit conversations, we show that these outcomes can be forecasted from the initial comment of an online conversation, with the best model providing a relative 24% improvement over human forecasting performance at ranking conversations for predicted outcome. Our results indicate that platforms can use these early cues in their algorithmic ranking of early conversations to prioritize better outcomes.
... An intriguing phenomenon associated with observing facial expressions is that people tend to imitate the displays they see (Dimberg et al., 2000). The process of replicating others' actions, i.e., mimicry, is more general and includes different types of behaviors, e.g., foot-tapping and face touching (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999), bodily postures (Bavelas et al., 1986;Bernieri & Rosenthal, 1991) or spoken word repetition (Goode & Robinson, 2013;Kulesza et al., 2014). In the case of emotional expression, this is also referred to as emotional mimicry (Hess & Fischer, 2014). ...
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Social resemblance, like group membership or similar attitudes, increases the mimicry of the observed emotional facial display. In this study, we investigate whether facial self-resemblance (manipulated by computer morphing) modulates emotional mimicry in a similar manner. Participants watched dynamic expressions of faces that either did or did not resemble their own, while their facial muscle activity was measured using EMG. Additionally, after each presentation, respondents completed social evaluations of the faces they saw. The results show that self-resemblance evokes convergent facial reactions. More specifically, participants mimicked the happiness and, to a lesser extent, the anger of self-resembling faces. In turn, the happiness of non-resembling faces was less likely mimicked than in the case of self-resembling faces, while anger evoked a more divergent, smile-like response. Finally, we found that social evaluations were in general increased by happiness displays, but not influenced by resemblance. Overall, the study demonstrates an interesting and novel phenomenon, particularly that mimicry can be modified by relatively subtle cues of physical resemblance.
... I no podem deixar de banda que sí tenim estudis que confirmen que les possibilitats i les tries gramaticals, lèxiques i sintàctiques tenen el poder d'evocar classificacions i judicis, i que els efectes es comproven quan l'únic que canvia dins d'un mateix context són les opcions lingüístiques (Higgins i Rholes, 1978;Berry, Pennebaker, Mueller i Hiller, 1997;Formanowicz et al., 2017). Com a persones socialitzades en un sistema, sabem, en un nivell pràctic, que aquesta possibilitat és una eina i adaptem la llengua que fem servir per causar una impressió determinada (Higgins i Rholes, 1978;Semin, 1998), per convèncer de les nostres propostes (Swaab, Maddux i Sinaceur, 2011;Romero, Swaab, Uzzi i Galinsky, 2015) o com a xibòlet, per alinear-nos i ser acceptades en un grup (Branigan, Pickering, Pearson i McLean, 2010;Kulesza, Dolinski, Huisman i Majewski, 2014). Són tries amb una base motivacional, però no sempre deliberades. ...
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Gender-inclusive language has become prominent in modern societies as a political measure for acknowledging gender-based diversity. The changes required to speak in non-sexist ways have aroused awareness but also resistance. A position that has achieved special traction in institutional contexts for some languages (including Catalan) is that masculine forms are actually the neutral form of gendered languages. Based on the absence of a morphological mark, grammar scholars use unmarked to refer to masculine forms that match the lexical root of words. This conventional meaning has been altered in using the term to intrinsically justify a semantic, communicative, sociocultural, and even symbolic neutrality of masculine forms. The argument denies or, at best, ignores the relationship between language, cognition, and society. This article reviews the knowledge accrued on that relationship on the basis of empirical studies challenging the alleged neutrality of masculine forms and assessing specific linguistic means that may counter the gender bias that looms large on our societies and how it is constructed as natural.
... This approach was informed by communication accommodation theory, which posits that the extent speakers converge, maintain or diverge from each other linguistically correlates with their social goals [7]. Convergence (also known as mirroring, alignment or entrainment) indicates a shared understanding between speakers [25], and is associated with success in collaborative tasks [1], and increased compliance and cooperation [26]. Furthermore, higher-levels of convergence can make an individual more likeable to those they are mirroring [27]. ...
... "um hm," "hmmm") and interruptions/overlaps (Ivy and Wahl 2019). 4 Verbal mimicry is also referred to as linguistic coordination (Fusaroli et al. 2012), interactive alignment (Fusaroli and Tyl en 2016; Garrod 2004, 2013), and echo effect (Kulesza et al. 2014). While there are small differences between each of these constructs, they are substantively the same. ...
Article
Attorney success at oral arguments is related to compliance with gender norms, subtle expectations about how men and women should speak and act in a host of contexts. While oral arguments are typically between two attorneys, amici curiae are present in a significant minority of cases. Amici, often representing the federal government, lend credibility to their endorsed attorney and complement the argument. Much like arguments for attorneys representing the petitioner and respondent, we contend amici oral argument success is tied to the performance of gender. However, while attorneys for the petitioner and respondent are more successful when adhering to gender norms, amici success is tied to mimicry of the gender norms associated with the endorsed attorney. Thus, a female attorney supporting a male attorney will be more successful if she utilizes male gender norms. Drawing on communication literature, we argue this is because endorsed attorneys and their amici collectively construct a narrative. By arguing first, the endorsed attorney sets gender norm expectations which the amicus then matches via mimicry. We find support for this argument via a quantitative textual analysis of oral amicus arguments from the 2004–2016 terms. While our results add a new wrinkle to our understanding of gender at oral arguments, they also raise normative concerns. Whereas previous work indicates women must balance gender and professional norms, our results suggest that it is not just women who are held to this double standard, but also the men who support them. This compounds concerns about how effectively women can participate as counsel at the Supreme Court.
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Background In an experiment conducted in a natural setting, we test the link between mimicry, the amount of time during which the mimicry behavior takes place, and its impact on service quality. Methods Cable TV clients (n = 120) were randomly assigned to six experimental conditions (2 mimicry conditions: verbal mimicry vs. no mimicry x 3 interaction time: 5 vs. 10 vs. 15 minutes). Perceived service quality served as the dependent measurement. Results A main effect of mimicry was found on service quality: a cable TV representative was perceived more favorably when he mimicked the customer. Importantly, it was shown that even small portions of mimicry are beneficial, meaning that practitioners do not have to mimic someone for a long time to achieve benefits. Conclusion The paper shows new benefits for the mimicker: more positive judgments by the mimickee regarding the impact on several different levels of service quality.
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Individuals automatically mimic a wide range of different behaviors, and such mimicking behavior has several social benefits. One of the landmark findings in the literature is that being mimicked increases liking for the mimicker. Research in cognitive neuroscience demonstrated that mentally simulating motor actions is neurophysiologically similar to engaging in these actions. Such research would predict that merely imagining being mimicked produces the same results as actually experiencing mimicry. To test this prediction, we conducted two experiments. In Experiment 1, being mimicked increased liking for the mimicker only when mimicry was directly experienced, but not when it was merely imagined. Experiment 2 replicated this finding within a high-powered online sample: merely imagining being mimicked does not produce the same effects as being actually mimicked. Theoretical and practical implications of these experiments are discussed.
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We analyze the interaction between management and investors during Chinese IPO roadshows through Jaccard Similarity analysis of written Chinese logograms. We provide evidence that when agreement is high, investor optimism increases, leading to relatively large first-day underpricing. We further show that high agreement biases investors to systematically overestimate IPO prospects leading to poor long-run abnormal performance. Jaccard Similarity is different from current content analysis methodologies because it is language and culture agnostic, requiring no a priori construction of thematic dictionaries. Elimination of such dictionaries removes the danger that the researcher has imposed predispositions upon the study.
Chapter
Researchers focus on non-verbal communication to better understand how relationships of various types are initiated, maintained, deepened, and sometimes terminated. Non-verbal communication is typically less filtered than verbal communication, thus non-verbal cues often reveal the “truth” of what is happening inside a relationship. However, we know less about non-verbal cues in relationships in trouble—ones that experience turmoil. Turmoil emerges in relationships going through turbulence, defined as periods of uncertainty and flux in partner interdependence during significant relationship transitions. Non-verbal communication central to romantic relationships experiencing turmoil and turbulence is the focus of this chapter, with specific attention paid to touch/affection, proxemics, eye behaviour, vocalics, and dyadic synchrony.
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The “chameleon effect” refers to the tendency to adopt the postures, gestures, and mannerisms of interaction partners (Chartrand & Bargh, 1999). This type of mimicry occurs outside of conscious awareness, and without any intent to mimic or imitate. Empirical evidence suggests a bi-directional relationship between nonconscious mimicry on the one hand, and liking, rapport, and affiliation on the other. That is, nonconscious mimicry creates affiliation, and affiliation can be expressed through nonconscious mimicry. We argue that mimicry played an important role in human evolution. Initially, mimicry may have had survival value by helping humans communicate. We propose that the purpose of mimicry has now evolved to serve a social function. Nonconscious behavioral mimicry increases affiliation, which serves to foster relationships with others. We review current research in light of this proposed framework and suggest future areas of research.
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We hypothesized that in online, virtual formats, negotiators receive better outcomes when mimicking their counterpart's language; furthermore, we predicted that this strategy would be more effective when occurring early in the negotiation rather than at the end, and should also be effective across both independent and interdependent cultures. Results from two experiments supported these hypotheses. Experiment 1 was conducted in Thailand and demonstrated that negotiators who actively mimicked their counterpart's language in the first 10min of the negotiation obtained higher individual gain compared to those mimicking during the last 10min, as well as compared to control participants. Experiment 2 replicated this effect in the United States (with Dutch and American negotiators) and also showed that trust mediated the effect of virtual linguistic mimicry on individual negotiation outcomes. Implications for virtual communication, strategic mimicry, and negotiations are discussed.
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Article
The chameleon effect refers to nonconscious mimicry of the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of one's interaction partners, such that one's behavior passively rind unintentionally changes to match that of others in one's current social environment. The authors suggest that the mechanism involved is the perception-behavior link, the recently documented finding (e.g., J. A. Bargh, M. Chen, & L. Burrows, 1996) that the mere perception of another' s behavior automatically increases the likelihood of engaging in that behavior oneself Experiment 1 showed that the motor behavior of participants unintentionally matched that of strangers with whom they worked on a task. Experiment 2 had confederates mimic the posture and movements of participants and showed that mimicry facilitates the smoothness of interactions and increases liking between interaction partners. Experiment 3 showed that dispositionally empathic individuals exhibit the chameleon effect to a greater extent than do other people.
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This investigation examines the linguistic behavior of audience members replying to the blog posts of television characters. Proponents of communication accommodation theory (Giles, 1973; Giles, Coupland, & Coupland, 1991) contend interactants accommodate the communicative behaviors of others they perceive as socially desirable. We argue similar behaviors should be observed in individuals engaging in parasocial interaction. Using the Language Inquiry and Word Count software (LIWC) (Pennebaker & Francis, 1999), we examine the language use of the TV characters as well as the audience members replying to their blog posts for linguistic synchrony and verbal immediacy by comparing language usage. The results suggest that audience members adapt language behaviors to TV characters and are more immediate when posting more often.
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Imitation has a fundamental role in learning and development within Vygotskyan sociocultural theory. In this study, we adopt a sociocultural theory view of imitation as an intentional, meaningful, and transformative process leading learners to higher developmental levels. The study centers on instances of imitation that occurred as adult learners of English as a second language (ESL) were engaged in a classroom shadow-reading task. The task consisted of an interactional phase where two learners, working collaboratively, read aloud, shadowed, and orally summarized a story, and a non-interactional phase where students produced written retellings of the story. The qualitative analysis of the data involved identifying possible instances of imitation and tracking relevant story segments throughout the different phases of the activity. Various types of imitative behaviors were found, ranging from close copies to major transformations of models, as well as immediate to deferred reproductions. From an instructional point of view, the built-in, recursive structure of the shadow-reading task seemed effective in providing affordances for persistent, meaningful imitation and internalization of second language (L2) exemplars as well as story comprehension and retention.
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Developing interpersonal bonds between employees and customers in selling contexts can increase sales and positive perceptions of the employees and the store. Recent studies have found that mimicking the verbal and nonverbal behavior of strangers enhanced their liking for the individual who mimicked them, and influenced helping behavior. An experiment was carried out in a retail setting where four sales clerks were instructed to mimic, or not, some of the verbal expressions and nonverbal behavior of the customers. On their way out, these customers were asked to evaluate the sales clerks and the store. Results showed that mimicry was associated with a higher sales rate, greater compliance to the sales clerk's suggestion during the selling process, and more positive evaluations of both the sales clerks and the store. It was found that these evaluations mediate the relationship between mimicry and customers' behavior. Experiment 2 confirmed the behavioral effect of mimicry when a baseline condition was introduced. These results seem to show that mimicry really helps managers to develop positive relationships between their sellers and their customers.
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Human adults exaggerate their actions and facial expressions when interacting with infants. These infant-directed modifications highlight certain aspects of action sequences and attract infants' attention. This study investigated whether social-emotional aspects of infant-directed modifications, such as smiling, eye contact, and onomatopoeic vocalization, influence infants' copying of another's action, especially action style, during the process of achieving an outcome. In Study 1, 14-month-old infants (n=22) saw an experimenter demonstrate goal-directed actions in an exaggerated manner. Either the style or the end state of the actions was accompanied by social-emotional cues from the experimenter. Infants copied the style of the action more often when social-emotional cues accompanied the style than when they accompanied the end state. In Study 2, a different group of 14-month-old infants (n=22) watched the same exaggerated actions as in Study 1, except that either the style or the end state was accompanied by a physical sound instead of social-emotional cues. The infants copied the end state consistently more often than the style. Taken together, these two studies showed that accompanying social-emotional cues provided by a demonstrator, but not accompanying physical sound, increased infants' copying of action style. These findings suggest that social-emotional cues facilitate efficient social learning through the adult-infant interaction.
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In two experiments the relation between past contact, stereotypic associative strength, and stereotype activation effects on memory performance was investigated. It was hypothesized that, for some stereotypes, contact can lead to the development of stronger stereotypical associations. Associative strength, in turn, was expected to determine stereotype activation effects on behavior (in this case, memory performance). In Experiment 1, it was shown that people who reported to have had much previous contact with elderly people performed worse on a memory (free recall) test after being primed with the stereotype of the elderly. People who reported to have had little previous contact did not show any effects of priming. In Experiment 2, we confirmed that this effect is mediated by associative strength. People who reported to have had a lot of contact with the elderly had developed an association between the category elderly and the attribute “forgetfulness.” The strength of this association, in turn, predicted the degree of memory impairment after activation of the category elderly.