However to the authors knowledge only one study has examined the causal role of

However to the authors knowledge only one study has

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However, to the author’s knowledge, only one study has examined the causal role of mimicry in emotion recognition of outgroups (Sherrin & Smith, in progress). In this study, participants were subtly induced to either smile or frown, while judging the emotions of ingroups (White) and outgroups (Middle Eastern) that were congruent or incongruent with the participants’ motor states. The researchers hypothesized that smiling should generally cause faces to be judged as happier (as found in Blaesi & Wilson, 2010). Interestingly, however, participants who smiled judged ingroup, but not outgroup targets as happier. This result may be seen as surprising, given that certain models of embodied simulation suggest that possessing a similar motor or emotional state to the target is a critical aspect of identifying that emotion (e.g. Goldman & Sripada, 2005). Regardless of these current findings, however, studies examining the role of mimicry in outgroup emotion recognition may benefit from using other methods of mimicry manipulations, including mimicry inhibition and mimicry training (e.g. Inzlicht, Gutsell, & Legault, 2012).
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EMBODIED PREJUDICE 8 In summary, research on intergroup mimicry finds that individuals mimic ingroups more than outgroups—and, that this difference may be stronger for high-prejudiced individuals. However, evidence for the causal role of mimicry in various prejudice-related factors, such as liking, implicit prejudice, and emotion recognition are currently mixed. Mimicry as behavioral cue. Another way to study mimicry’s role in prejudice is to examine the effects of being mimicked . In general, being mimicked by ingroups has been proposed to lead to positive social outcomes, such as increased liking, empathy, and prosocial behavior (for review, see Chartrand & Lakin, 2013). However, the effects of being mimicked by outgroups on prejudice is far less clear. One study (Yabar & Hess, 2007) found that North African outgroup members who matched the negative, bodily cues of French Canadian participants (who were asked to read a sad story) were liked more and received increased approach-related tendencies from the participant than outgroup members who did not mimic the ingroup. However, liking of the target did not generalize to liking of the target’s outgroup, on a whole. Another study (Hasler, Hirschberger, Shani-Sherman, & Friedman, 2014) found similar results, with Israeli participants who were mimicked by a Palestinian virtual avatar exhibiting more liking, empathy, and self-other overlap with the outgroup avatar. Unfortunately, however, this study did not use any measures of generalization to the outgroup, making its implications for reducing prejudice unclear. Finally, a third study (Leander, Chartrand, & Bargh, 2012; Study 3) found that White participants who were mimicked by Black confederates judged the room as physically colder than participants who were not mimicked by a Black confederate, or mimicked by a White confederate. The authors suggest that such effects occurred due to increases in vasoconstriction,
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