Mimicking attractive opposite-sex others: The role of romantic relationship status
until further notice
SourcePersonality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 7, (2008), pp. 939-950
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI SCP
Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being
Based on the recent literature indicating that nonconscious behavioural mimicry is partly goal directed, three studies examined, and supported, the hypothesis that people who are involved in a romantic relationship nonconsciously mimic an attractive opposite-sex other to a lesser extent than people not involved in a relationship. Moreover, Studies 2 and 3 revealed that romantically involved persons tended to mimic an attractive alternative less to the extent that they were more close to their current partner. Finally, Study 3 provided preliminary support for a potential underlying mechanism, revealing that the effect of relationship status on level of mimicry displayed toward an opposite-sex other is mediated by perceived attractiveness of the opposite-sex other. The present findings suggest that behavioural mimicry serves an implicit self-regulatory function in relationship maintenance. Implications for both the literature on relationship maintenance and the literature on behavioral mimicry are discussed.
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