Advertisement

Motivation and Emotion

, Volume 39, Issue 4, pp 613–630 | Cite as

Are you feeling what I’m feeling? The role of facial mimicry in facilitating reconnection following social exclusion

  • Elaine O. CheungEmail author
  • Erica B. Slotter
  • Wendi L. Gardner
Original Paper

Abstract

The present work investigated the interpersonal functions of facial mimicry after social exclusion. Specifically, we examined two distinct functions that facial mimicry may serve in promoting reconnection: facilitating the understanding of others’ emotions and/or fostering interpersonal rapport. Using a novel facial mimicry paradigm, we found that although people exhibited both greater facial mimicry (Studies 1 and 2) and superior emotion-decoding accuracy (Study 2) after exclusion, facial mimicry did not mediate the relationship between exclusion and decoding accuracy (Study 2). Instead, we found support for facial mimicry serving to promote interpersonal rapport. Specifically, in Study 3, naïve judges rated videos of target-participant pairs from Study 1 for social closeness. Findings indicated that pairs with a previously-excluded participant were rated as socially closer than pairs with a previously-included participant (Study 3). Importantly, enhanced facial mimicry was found to mediate the relationship between exclusion and rated closeness. Altogether these findings suggest that facial mimicry may promote reconnection after social exclusion by fostering rapport.

Keywords

Social exclusion Facial mimicry Emotion decoding Rapport 

References

  1. Ambady, N., & Gray, H. M. (2002). On being sad and mistaken: Mood effects on the accuracy of thin-slice judgments. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 83(4), 947–961. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.83.4.947.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Baron, R. M., & Kenny, D. A. (1986). The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51(6), 1173–1182. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.51.6.1173.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Barrett, L. F., Mesquita, B., & Gendron, M. (2011). Context in emotion perception. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 20(5), 286–290. doi: 10.1177/0963721411422522.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Barsalou, L. W., Niedenthal, P. M., Barbey, A. K., & Ruppert, J. A. (2003). Social embodiment. In B. H. Ross & B. H. Ross (Eds.), The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory (Vol. 43, pp. 43–92). New York, NY: Elsevier Science.Google Scholar
  5. Baumeister, R. F., & Leary, M. R. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motivation. Psychological Bulletin, 117, 497–529. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.117.3.497.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Bavelas, J. B., Black, A., Lemery, C. R., & Mullett, J. (1986). ‘I show how you feel’: Motor mimicry as a communicative act. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 50(2), 322–329. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.50.2.322.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bernieri, F. J., Davis, J. M., Rosenthal, R., & Knee, C. (1994). Interactional synchrony and rapport: Measuring synchrony in displays devoid of sound and facial affect. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 20(3), 303–311. doi: 10.1177/0146167294203008.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bernieri, F., Gillis, J., Davis, J., & Grahe, J. (1996). Dyad rapport and the accuracy of its judgment across situations: A lens model analysis. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 71, 110–129. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.71.1.110.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Bernstein, M. J., Sacco, D. F., Brown, C. M., Young, S. G., & Claypool, H. M. (2010). A preference for genuine smiles following social exclusion. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(1), 196–199. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2009.08.010.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bernstein, M. J., Young, S. G., Brown, C. M., Sacco, D. F., & Claypool, H. M. (2008). Adaptive responses to social exclusion: Social rejection improves detection of real and fake smiles. Psychological Science, 19(10), 981–983. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02187.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Blairy, S., Herrera, P., & Hess, U. (1999). Mimicry and the judgment of emotional facial expressions. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 23, 5–41. doi: 10.1023/A:1021370825283.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Brody, L. R., & Hall, J. A. (2008). Gender and emotion in context. In M. Lewis, J. M. Haviland-Jones, & L. Barrett (Eds.), Handbook of emotions (3rd ed., pp. 395–408). New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  13. Buckley, K. E., Winkel, R. E., & Leary, M. R. (2004). Reactions to acceptance and rejection: Effects of level and sequence of relational evaluation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40(1), 14–28. doi: 10.1016/S0022-1031(03)00064-7.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Burbridge, J. B., Magee, L., & Robb, A. L. (1988). Alternative transformations to handle extreme values of the dependent variable. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 83(401), 123–127.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Butler, E., Egloff, B., Wlhelm, F., Smith, N., Erickson, E., & Gross, J. (2003). The social consequences of expressive suppression. Emotion, 3, 48–67. doi: 10.1037/1528-3542.3.1.48.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Caporael, L. R. (2001). Parts and wholes: The evolutionary importance of groups. In C. Sedikides & M. B. Brewer (Eds.), Individual self, relational self, collective self (pp. 241–258). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  17. Chartrand, T. L., & Bargh, J. A. (1999). The chameleon effect: The perception–behavior link and social interaction. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 76, 893–910. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.76.6.893.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Chartrand, T. L., & van Baaren, R. (2009). Human mimicry. In M. P. Zanna (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (pp. 219–274). London UK: Elsevier Inc.Google Scholar
  19. Davis, J., Senghas, A., Brandt, F., & Ochsner, K. N. (2010). The effects of BOTOX injections on emotional experience. Emotion, 10(3), 433–440. doi: 10.1037/a0018690.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. DeBruine, L. M. (2002). Facial resemblance enhances trust. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences, 269(1498), 1307–1312. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2002.2034.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Eisenberger, N. I., Lieberman, M. D., & Williams, K. D. (2003). Does exclusion hurt? An fMRI study of social exclusion. Science, 302(5643), 290–292. doi: 10.1126/science.1089134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Gardner, W., Pickett, C., & Brewer, M. (2000). Social exclusion and selective memory: How the need to belong influences memory for social events. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 26, 486–496. doi: 10.1177/0146167200266007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Gardner, W., Pickett, C., Jefferis, V., & Knowles, M. (2005). On the outside looking in: Loneliness and social monitoring. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 31, 1549–1560. doi: 10.1177/0146167205277208.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Goldman, A. I., & Sripada, C. (2005). Simulationist models of face-based emotion recognition. Cognition, 94(3), 193–213. doi: 10.1016/j.cognition.2004.01.005.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Grahe, J. E., & Bernieri, F. J. (1999). The importance of nonverbal cues in judging rapport. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 23(4), 253–269. doi: 10.1023/A:1021698725361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Grahe, J. E., & Bernieri, F. J. (2002). Self-awareness of judgment policies of rapport. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28(10), 1407–1418. doi: 10.1177/014616702236872.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Gray, H. M., Ishii, K., & Ambady, N. (2011). Misery loves company: When sadness increases the desire for social connectedness. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 37(11), 1438–1448. doi: 10.1177/0146167211420167.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Hall, J. A., & Bernieri, F. J. (2001). Interpersonal sensitivity: Theory and measurement. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates Publishers.Google Scholar
  29. Hall, J. A., Roter, D. L., Blanch, D. C., & Frankel, R. M. (2009). Observer-rated rapport in interactions between medical students and standardized patients. Patient Education and Counseling, 76(3), 323–327. doi: 10.1016/j.pec.2009.05.009.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Hatfield, E., Cacioppo, J., & Rapson, R. (1994). Emotional contagion. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  31. Heider, F. (1958). The psychology of interpersonal relations. New York, NY: Wiley.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Hess, U., & Blairy, S. (2001). Facial mimicry and emotional contagion to dynamic emotional facial expressions and their influence on decoding accuracy. International Journal of Psychophysiology, 40(2), 129–141. doi: 10.1016/S0167-8760(00)00161-6.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Hess, U., & Fischer, A. (2013). Emotional mimicry as social regulation. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 17(2), 142–157. doi: 10.1177/1088868312472607.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Hess, U., & Fischer, A. (2014). Emotional mimicry: Why and when we mimic emotions. Social and Personality Psychology Compass, 8(2), 45–57. doi: 10.1111/spc3.12083.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hess, U., Philippot, P., & Blairy, S. (1999). Mimicry: Facts and fiction. In P. Philippot, R. S. Feldman, E. J. Coats, P. Philippot, R. S. Feldman, & E. J. Coats (Eds.), The social context of nonverbal behavior (pp. 213–241). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  36. Hinsz, V. B. (1989). Facial resemblance in engaged and married couples. Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, 6(2), 223–229. doi: 10.1177/026540758900600205.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Ickes, W., Gesn, P., & Graham, T. (2000). Gender differences in empathic accuracy: Differential ability or differential motivation? Personal Relationships, 7, 95–109. doi: 10.1111/j.1475-6811.2000.tb00006.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Kavanagh, L. C., Suhler, C. L., Churchland, P. S., & Winkielman, P. (2011). When it’s an error to mirror: The surprising reputational costs of mimicry. Psychological Science, 22(10), 1274–1276. doi: 10.1177/0956797611418678.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kenny, D. A., Kashy, D. A., & Cook, W. L. (2006). Dyadic data analysis. New York, NY: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  40. Klein, K., & Hodges, S. (2001). Gender differences, motivation, and empathic accuracy: When it pays to understand. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 27, 720–730. doi: 10.1177/0146167201276007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Knowles, M. L., & Gardner, W. L. (2008). Benefits of membership: The activation and amplification of group identities in response to social rejection. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(9), 1200–1213. doi: 10.1177/0146167208320062.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Kring, A. M., & Sloan, D. M. (2007). The Facial Expression Coding System (FACES): Development, validation, and utility. Psychological Assessment, 19(2), 210–224. doi: 10.1037/1040-3590.19.2.210.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Kring, A. M., Smith, D. A., & Neale, J. M. (1994). Individual differences in dispositional expressiveness: Development and validation of the Emotional Expressivity Scale. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 66(5), 934–949. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.66.5.934.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Lakin, J. L., & Chartrand, T. L. (2003). Using nonconscious behavioral mimicry to create affiliation and rapport. Psychological Science, 14(4), 334–339. doi: 10.1111/1467-9280.14481.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Lakin, J. L., Chartrand, T. L., & Arkin, R. M. (2008). I am too just like you: Nonconscious mimicry as an automatic behavioral response to social exclusion. Psychological Science, 19(8), 816–822. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02162.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Leander, N. P., Chartrand, T. L., & Bargh, J. A. (2012). You give me the chills: Embodied reactions to inappropriate amounts of behavioral mimicry. Psychological Science, 23(7), 772–779. doi: 10.1177/0956797611434535.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Liviatan, I., Trope, Y., & Liberman, N. (2008). Interpersonal similarity as a social distance dimension: Implications for perception of others’ actions. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 44(5), 1256–1269. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2008.04.007.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Lucas, G. M., Knowles, M. L., Gardner, W. L., Molden, D. C., & Jefferis, V. E. (2010). Increasing social engagement among lonely individuals: The role of acceptance cues and promotion motivations. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 36(10), 1346–1359. doi: 10.1177/0146167210382662.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. MacDonald, G., & Leary, M. R. (2005). Why does social exclusion hurt? The relationship between social and physical pain. Psychological Bulletin, 131(2), 202–223. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.2.202.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Maner, J. K., DeWall, C., Baumeister, R. F., & Schaller, M. (2007). Does social exclusion motivate interpersonal reconnection? Resolving the ‘porcupine problem’. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 42–55. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.1.42.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Maslow, A. H. (1968). Toward a psychology of being. New York: Van Nostrand.Google Scholar
  52. McArthur, L. Z., & Baron, R. M. (1983). Toward an ecological theory of social perception. Psychological Review, 90(3), 215–238. doi: 10.1037/0033-295X.90.3.215.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Molden, D. C., & Maner, J. K. (2013). How and when exclusion motivates social reconnection. In C. DeWall (Ed.), The Oxford handbook of social exclusion (pp. 121–131). New York, NY, US: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  54. Motley, M. T., & Camden, C. T. (1988). Facial expression of emotion: A comparison of posed expressions versus spontaneous expressions in an interpersonal communication setting. Western Journal of Speech Communication, 52(1), 1–22. doi: 10.1080/10570318809389622.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Neal, D. T., & Chartrand, T. (2011). Embodied emotion perception: Amplifying and dampening facial feedback modulates emotion perception accuracy. Social Psychological and Personality Science,. doi: 10.1177/1948550611406138.Google Scholar
  56. Niedenthal, P. M. (2007). Embodying emotion. Science, 316(5827), 1002–1005. doi: 10.1126/science.1136930.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Niedenthal, P. M., Mermillod, M., Maringer, M., & Hess, U. (2010). The Simulation of Smiles (SIMS) model: Embodied simulation and the meaning of facial expression. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33(6), 417–433. doi: 10.1017/S0140525X10000865.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Oberman, L. M., Winkielman, P., & Ramachandran, V. S. (2007). Face to face: Blocking facial mimicry can selectively impair recognition of emotional expressions. Social Neuroscience, 2(3–4), 167–178. doi: 10.1080/17470910701391943.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Pickett, C., & Gardner, W. (2005). The social monitoring system: Enhanced sensitivity to social cues as an adaptive response to social exclusion. In K. D. Williams, J. P. Forgas, & W. von Hippel (Eds.), The social outcast: Ostracism, social exclusion, exclusion, and bullying (pp. 213–226). New York, NY: Psychology Press.Google Scholar
  60. Pickett, C. L., Gardner, W. L., & Knowles, M. (2004). Getting a cue: The need to belong and enhanced sensitivity to social cues. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 1095–1107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Rottenberg, J., Ray, R. D., & Gross, J. J. (2007). Emotion elicitation using films. In J. A. Coan & J. B. Allen (Eds.), Handbook of emotion elicitation and assessment (pp. 9–28). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  62. Srivastava, S., Tamir, M., McGonigal, K., John, O., & Gross, J. (2009). The social costs of emotional suppression: A prospective study of the transition to college. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 96, 883–897. doi: 10.1037/a0014755.PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Stel, M., Blascovich, J., McCall, C., Mastop, J., van Baaren, R. B., & Vonk, R. (2010). Mimicking disliked others: Effects of a priori liking on the mimicry-liking link. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40(5), 867–880.Google Scholar
  64. Stel, M., & van Knippenberg, A. (2008). The role of facial mimicry in the recognition of affect. Psychological Science, 19(10), 984–985. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02188.x.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  65. Stel, M., & Vonk, R. (2010). Mimicry in social interaction: Benefits for mimickers, mimickees, and their interaction. British Journal of Psychology, 101(2), 311–323. doi: 10.1348/000712609X465424.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. Tickle-Degnen, L. (2006). Nonverbal behavior and its functions in the ecosystem of rapport. In V. Manusov & M. L. Patterson (Eds.), The Sage handbook of nonverbal communication (pp. 381–399). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications Inc.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Tickle-Degnen, L., & Rosenthal, R. (1990). The nature of rapport and its nonverbal correlates. Psychological Inquiry, 1(4), 285–293. doi: 10.1207/s15327965pli0104_1.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. Twenge, J. M., Baumeister, R. F., DeWall, C. N., Ciarocco, N. J., & Bartels, J. M. (2007). Social exclusion decreases prosocial behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 92(1), 56–66. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.92.1.56.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. Twenge, J. M., Baumeister, R. F., Tice, D. M., & Stucke, T. S. (2001). If you can’t join them, beat them: Effects of social exclusion on aggressive behavior. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 81(6), 1058–1069. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.81.6.1058.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  70. van Beest, I., & Williams, K. D. (2006). When inclusion costs and ostracism pays, ostracism still hurts. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 91(5), 918–928. doi: 10.1037/0022-3514.91.5.918.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. van der Schalk, J., Fischer, A., Doosje, B., Wigboldus, D., Hawk, S., Rotteveel, M., & Hess, U. (2011). Convergent and divergent responses to emotional displays of ingroup and outgroup. Emotion, 11(2), 286–298. doi: 10.1037/a0022582.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. Warburton, W. A., Williams, K. D., & Cairns, D. R. (2006). When ostracism leads to aggression: The moderating effects of control deprivation. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 42(2), 213–220. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2005.03.005.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Weisbuch, M., & Ambady, N. (2011). Thin-slice vision. In R. B. Adams Jr, N. Ambady, K. Nakayama, & S. Shimojo (Eds.), The science of social vision (pp. 228–247). New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  74. Williams, K., & Jarvis, B. (2006). Cyberball: A program for use in research on interpersonal ostracism and inclusion. Behavioral Research Methods, 38, 174–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Yabar, Y., & Hess, U. (2007). Display of empathy and perception of out-group members. New Zealand Journal of Psychology, 36(1), 42–49.Google Scholar
  76. Zadro, L., Williams, K. D., & Richardson, R. (2004). How low can you go? Ostracism by a computer is sufficient to lower self-reported levels of belonging, control, self-esteem, and meaningful existence. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 40(4), 560–567. doi: 10.1016/j.jesp.2003.11.006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine O. Cheung
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erica B. Slotter
    • 2
  • Wendi L. Gardner
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyNorthwestern UniversityEvanstonUSA
  2. 2.Villanova UniversityVillanovaUSA

Personalised recommendations