Nonverbal Reactions to an Attractive Stranger: The Role of Mimicry in Communicating Preferred Social Distance
Links to Fileshttps://www.researchgate.net/profile/Sally_Farley/publication/261567099_Nonverbal_Reactions_to_an_Attractive_Stranger_The_Role_of_Mimicry_in_Communicating_Preferred_Social_Distance/links/0a85e534d2023cf7c8000000/Nonverbal-Reactions-to-an-Attractive-Stranger-The-Role-of-Mimicry-in-Communicating-Preferred-Social-Distance.pdf
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Type of Work17 pages
Citation of Original PublicationFarley, S. D. (June 01, 2014). Nonverbal Reactions to an Attractive Stranger: The Role of Mimicry in Communicating Preferred Social Distance. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 38, 2, 195-208.
The present study was conducted to determine the extent to which different nonverbal behaviors were associated with romantic interest in a highly attractive confederate and whether these behaviors differed as a function of relationship status and self-reported love for one’s partner. Mimicry was positively associated with romantic interest in the confederate, and consistent with the devaluation hypothesis, mimicry was negatively associated with self-reported love for one’s partner, suggesting that mimicry functions to signal preferred social distance. In addition, smiling and vocal pleasantness emerged as important affiliative nonverbal behaviors. The present results suggest that mimicry acts as a relationship-maintenance mechanism, one that is expressed automatically, unintentionally, and nonconsciously. Implications for the role of nonconscious mimicry in romantic attraction and relationship-maintenance processes are discussed.