Mimicry in social interaction: benefits for mimickers, mimickees, and their interaction

Br J Psychol. 2010 May;101(Pt 2):311-23. doi: 10.1348/000712609X465424. Epub 2009 Jul 29.


Mimicry has benefits for people in social interactions. However, evidence regarding the consequences of mimicry is incomplete. First, research on mimicry has particularly focused on effects of being mimicked. Secondly, on the side of the mimicker evidence is correlational or lacks real interaction data. The present study investigated effects for mimickers and mimickees in face-to-face interaction. Feelings towards the immediate interaction partner and the interaction in which mimicry takes place were measured after an interaction between two participants in which mimicry did or did not occur. Results revealed that mimickers and mimickees became more affectively attuned to each other due to bidirectional influences of mimicry. Additionally, both mimickers and mimickees reported more feelings of having bonded with each other and rated the interaction as smoother.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Affect
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Imitative Behavior*
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Judgment
  • Male
  • Motivation*
  • Object Attachment
  • Personal Construct Theory
  • Personality Inventory
  • Young Adult