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Mimicry in Social Interaction: Its Effect on Learning

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Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning


Behavioral mimicry; Chameleon effect; Postural synchrony; Verbal mimicry


Mimicry is an automatic and non-conscious process that occurs in many circumstances and in a wide variety of situations. According to Chartrand and van Baaren (2009), there are several theories of mimicry. Studies have demonstrated that mimicry is a communication tool used to create and regulate social interactions and show others that you understand them. It can truly be called “social glue” which helps to create strong ties and relationships between individuals. According to Chartrand and Bargh (1999), one of the key mechanisms of imitation is the desire for affiliation with the subject with whom one interacts. It seems that mimicry is an effective tool not only to create ties and social relationships, but also for maintaining them. A great deal of research has shown that non-conscious mimicry comes from the automatic link between perception and behavior. According to Bargh et al. (1996),...

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Correspondence to Nicolas Guéguen .

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Martin, A., Guéguen, N. (2012). Mimicry in Social Interaction: Its Effect on Learning. In: Seel, N.M. (eds) Encyclopedia of the Sciences of Learning. Springer, Boston, MA.

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