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Journal Articles Psychological Reports Year : 2011

Mimicry and Propagation of Prosocial Behavior in a Natural Setting

Abstract

This study tested, in a natural setting, the effect of mimicry on people's disposition toward helping others and the extent to which this helping behavior is extended to people not directly involved in the mimicry situation. In the main street of a busy town, men (n = 101) and women (n = 109) passersby were encountered and asked for directions. These passersby were subjected to mimicry by naïve confederates who mimicked either verbal behavior alone or verbal and nonverbal behaviors together, including arm, hand, and head movements. In the control condition, passersby were not mimicked. Following this first encounter, each subject was then met further down the street by a second confederate who asked for money. The results show that people who had been mimicked complied more often with a request for money and gave significantly more, suggesting they were more helpful and more generous toward other people, even complete strangers.
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hal-01765145 , version 1 (12-04-2018)

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Jacques Fischer-Lokou, Angélique Martin, Nicolas Guéguen, Lubomir Lamy. Mimicry and Propagation of Prosocial Behavior in a Natural Setting. Psychological Reports, 2011, 108 (2), pp.599 - 605. ⟨10.2466/07.17.21.PR0.108.2.599-605⟩. ⟨hal-01765145⟩
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