- Mimicry of ingroup and outgroup emotional expressions
- Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology
- Volume | Issue number
- 1 | 1-3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Research into emotional mimicry has found that the extent to which we mimic others depends on group membership and the emotion at hand. Particularly, negative emotions are mimicked more when expressed by the perceiver’s ingroup. It is, however, still debated what process underlies emotional mimicry and whether previous findings of enhanced mimicry of negative emotions expressed by ingroup members are robust. We therefore first aimed to replicate Study 2 of van der Schalk, Fischer et al. (2011), specifically testing the finding of differences in emotional mimicry for models from different ethnic groups. Moreover, we extended the study by (1) including nonverbal emotional vocalizations and (2) including all negative emotions that were previously studied in a group mimicry context, that is, anger, fear, and sadness, in addition to happiness. We test two alternative explanations of emotional mimicry: whether emotional mimicry is a matched-motor response or whether emotional mimicry is influenced by meaning and context as proposed by the Emotion Mimicry in Context view. The results do not replicate the findings of van der Schalk, Fischer et al. (2011). For the facial and vocalization stimuli, we did not find emotional mimicry effects for anger, fear, or sadness, neither did we find effects of group membership. We only found emotional mimicry effects for happiness (action units 6 and 12) in the facial study. We discuss various explanations for the lack of findings, with the within-subjects design as most likely explanation.
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