The impact of guilt on mimicry behavior

Angelique Martin1, Nicolas Guéguen1, Jacques Fischer-Lokou1
1Université de Bretagne-Sud, France
Cite this article:  Martin, A., Guéguen, N., & Fischer-Lokou, J. (2010). The impact of guilt on mimicry behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 38(7), 987-992.

Volume 38 Issue 7 | e2039 | Published: August 2010 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2010.38.7.987

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In the experiment we conducted, participants were separated into guilt or not guilt conditions, with guilt induced by causing participants to feel that they were responsible for something wrong that occurred to a confederate. A few minutes later, the participants viewed a video where a young female touched and rubbed her face several times. A measure of feeling of guilt was administered in both experimental conditions. Participants in the guilt condition mimicked the target person more than those in the no-guilt condition. The level of mimicry appeared to be linked with the level of guilt felt, but only in the guilt condition. Results support the notion that mimicry helps to create affiliation and rapport because the desire to build such a relationship is higher in the guilt condition.

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