The Chameleon Effect: Masks And Mirrors

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It is quite common in our life that when people are admiring a movie star, when would try their best to mimic his actions. For example, people would imitate his ways of walking or his accents when he is talking. Or, when we are talking to somebody, if his ways of talking or some of actions are really similar to us, we would feel affection from him or her. Why would this kind of situation happen? An experiment which perfectly showed this phenomenon was done by Chartrand and Bargh in 1999, who showed there is a natural tendency for people to mimic other people’s behaviors which is known as Chameleon Effect.[ Bernard Carl Rosen 2001 Masks and Mirrors: Generation X and the Chameleon Personality p13-14] In 1999, two psychologists in New York University decided to research the question that whether people would automatically copy other people’s actions even they are strangers? Whether doing such actions would enhance their affection between each other and whether people who tend to open to others will display such kind of actions more than others? The first experiment they did is they found 78 people and each person who have a talk face to face with the confederate. The confederate would employ different kinds of actions during the talking, such as smiling, touching their face, shaking the leg, foot waggling etc. Confederate would observe tester’s behavior, to see whether they would imitate his behaviors. Then they did the second experiment, in order to know whether imitating
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