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Chameleons and copycats: How mimicry affects interpersonal persuasion
Date:2/12/2008

e researchers examined whether a person who is mimicked would come to like that person more than they would otherwise, and whether that would lead to a more positive response towards a product endorsed by the mimicker. Participants who had their posture, body angle, foot movements, and verbal patterns mimicked rated a new sports drink more positively and drank more of the sports drink than participants who were not mimicked. A separate experiment showed that the positive ratings and the amount consumed was even higher when the mimicker expressly stated that he or she was invested in the success of the product.

This suggests that mimicry has the potential to be a valuable tool in interpersonal persuasion, particularly in cases where the motivations and persuasive intent of the mimicker are transparent, the researchers write. So, even though consumers might try to resist a salespersons pitch, being mimicked by that salesperson makes that pitch more impacting.

Robin J. Tanner, Rosellina Ferraro, Tanya L. Chartrand, James R. Bettman, and Rick Van Baaren, Of Chameleons and Consumption: The Impact of Mimicry on Choice and Preferences. Journal of Consumer Research: April 2008.


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Contact: Suzanne Wu
swu@press.uchicago.edu
209-608-2038
University of Chicago Press Journals
Source:Eurekalert

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