Imitation in mediation: Effects of the duration of mimicry on reaching agreement

Jacques Fischer-Lokou1, Nicolas Guéguen1, Lubomir Lamy2, Angélique Martin3, Andrea Bullock3
1Department of Management Science, University of South Brittany, France
2Department of Management, University of Paris-Descartes, France
3Department of Social Management, University of South Brittany, France
Cite this article:  Fischer-Lokou, J., Guéguen, N., Lamy, L., Martin, A., & Bullock, A. (2014). Imitation in mediation: Effects of the duration of mimicry on reaching agreement. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 42(2), 189-196.

Volume 42 Issue 2 | e3425 | Published: March 2014 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.2014.42.2.189

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We conducted 2 experiments (N = 180 participants in Study 1 and N = 102 in Study 2) to examine the effect of imitation shown by a mediator towards negotiators who were on opposing sides in regard to a financial decision being made by a fictitious company. Contrary to what was expected, data in the first study showed that, when the mediator imitated the negotiator during the first 5 minutes of an interview, this was insufficient to predispose negotiators to be more likely to reach an agreement with one another. The results in the second study showed that imitation conducted over a longer time and repeated more often during negotiations predisposed opposing parties to be more likely to agree with one another. Applications and limitations of these studies are discussed.

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