How do socially anxious women evaluate mimicry? A virtual reality study
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Number of pages
SourceCognition & Emotion, 24, 5, (2010), pp. 840-847
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ BSI KLP
SW OZ BSI SCP
Cognition & Emotion
SubjectBehaviour Change and Well-being; Experimental Psychopathology and Treatment
Being subtly mimicked leads to more positive evaluations of the mimicker. Socially anxious individuals (SAs), however, should respond differently. SAs would probably either not process mimicry due to self-focused attention or not appreciate such social behaviour. Consequently, we hypothesised that they would not think more positively about a mimicking person. To test this prediction, 25 SAs and 25 non-anxious controls (NACs), all female, interacted with two virtual men (avatars) separately. One avatar mimicked the participant's head movements while giving an opinionated speech, whereas the other did not mimic. Afterwards, participants evaluated the speeches and the avatars. As predicted, NACs evaluated the mimicking avatar and his speech more positively than the non-mimicking avatar. SAs, on the other hand, evaluated both avatars and their speeches the same; comparable to how NACs evaluated the non-mimicking avatar. These results conform to the notion that mimicking does not have positive effects on SAs.
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