Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Winning Friends - Imitation is The Greatest Form of Flattery

Perception-Behavior Link

Perception-Behavior link stands for the proposition that “we often simply do what we see.[1]

Mirror Neurons - Behavioral is Contagious 

Perception-Behavior link is caused by our mirror neurons system.[2] We have the same neurons for perceiving an action as we do for executing that action.[3]  When we observe the behavior of another, we activate the same neurons in our brains that are active when we ourselves are performing that action.[4] Therefore, as early as 2 weeks old our brains are wired to automatically mimic observable behavior, such as facial structure and posture.[5]
Mimicry Increases Rapport  

There is now clear causal evidence that mimicry causes increased liking by interaction partners.[6] Mimicry studies conclude that,

 …participants who were surreptitiously imitated by the confederate liked the confederate more relative to participants who were not imitated. In addition, participants who were imitated indicated that the interaction proceeded more smoothly.[7]

So next time you’re on a date, copy EVERY movement your partner does! I’m kidding.  Perhaps you should save your cognitive efforts on simply listening. Your unconscious will then likely provide adequate mimicry.

[1] Ap Dijksterhuis & Pamela Smith,  et al., The Unconscious Consumer: Effects ofEnvironment on Consumer Behavior, 2005, 195.
[3] See Dijksterhuis, supra footnote 1,
[4] Id.
[5] Id.
[6] Id. at 196.
[7] Id.

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