Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 30, Issue 3, pp 97–113 | Cite as

Implicit Behavioral Mimicry: Investigating the Impact of Group Membership

  • Yanelia Yabar
  • Lucy Johnston
  • Lynden Miles
  • Victoria Peace


Two experiments investigated the impact of group membership on non-conscious behavioral mimicry. Female participants viewed videotapes of female confederates who rubbed their faces whilst describing a picture. The extent to which the participant mimicked this face rubbing behavior was assessed from video footage taken using a hidden video-camera. Experiment 1 showed greater mimicry of a member of an in-group than of a member of an out-group. Experiment 2 showed both explicit and implicit liking of a target group to predict the extent of mimicry of a member of that group. There was a positive relationship between implicit liking and mimicry but a negative relationship between explicit liking and mimicry. Results are discussed in terms of processes underlying mimicry.


Inter-group behavior Mimicry 



The authors thank Sarah Austin and Gemma Young for acting as confederates, Sanna Malinen, Katherine Stevenson and Steven Gaukrodger for their assistance in the data collection, coding and analysis, and Brenda Major and Jim Blascovich for comments on an earlier draft of the manuscript. This research was supported by grants U2043 and D3336 from the University of Canterbury. Dr. Yabar is now at the Open Polytechnic of New Zealand.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yanelia Yabar
    • 1
  • Lucy Johnston
    • 1
  • Lynden Miles
    • 1
  • Victoria Peace
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CanterburyChristchurchNew Zealand
  2. 2.University of BathBathUK

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