The moody chameleon: the effect of mood on non-conscious mimicry

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Baaren van, Rick B. and Fockenberg, Daniel A. and Holland, Rob W. and Janssen, Loes and Knippenberg van, Ad (2006) The moody chameleon: the effect of mood on non-conscious mimicry. Social Cognition, 24 (4). pp. 426-437. ISSN 0278-016X

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Abstract:Whereas previous findings suggest that mood alters information processing style judgment and strategic behavior, in the present article, the hypothesis is tested that moods influence our non–conscious behavior. In the first study, we observed a correlation between participants’ mood and their non–conscious mimicry of a person on television. In the second study, participants were put in either a positive or negative mood and afterwards they watched a video comprising of two episodes, one with a pen–playing experimenter, and one with a non-pen–playing experimenter. Participants were videotaped to see whether they would mimic the pen–playing experimenter. As predicted, we found that only participants in a positive mood mimic the confederate’s behavior. Finally, tentative evidence suggesting that the effect of mood on mimicry is mediated by cognitive processing style is discussed. These results support a functional explanation for the effects of mood on information processing and behavior.
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