The chameleon as a leech: The costs of mimicry for the mimickee

Sylwia Kot , Wojciech Kulesza


Mimicry is known to produce benefits for the mimicker such as liking, increased prosocial tendencies (e.g., higher donations), and trust. Little is known about the benefits or costs to the mimickee. The aim of this study is to explore this issue. Participants were mimicked or not by a confederate. The confederate then dropped pens and checked if the participants picked them up (a proxy for prosocial behavior). Finally, questionnaires were administered that assessed each participant’s liking of the confederate and self-liking, and self-esteem. As expected, mimicked participants picked up more pens and liked the mimicker more. Surprisingly, mimicked participants reported significantly lower self-like when compared to non-mimicked participants, and their self-esteem tended towards being lower. This research fills an important theoretical gap showing that there is a great cost to mimicry.
Author Sylwia Kot
Sylwia Kot,,
, Wojciech Kulesza (Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu)
Wojciech Kulesza,,
- Wydział Zamiejscowy w Poznaniu
Journal seriesPolish Psychological Bulletin, ISSN 0079-2993, e-ISSN 1641-7844, (B 15 pkt)
Issue year2016
Publication size in sheets0.5
Keywords in Englishmimicry; chameleon effect; liking; interpersonal relationships
ASJC Classification3200 General Psychology
Languageen angielski
Kulesza W._ The Chameleon as a Leech_all2016.pdf 262.43 KB
Score (nominal)15
Publication indicators Scopus SNIP (Source Normalised Impact per Paper): 2016 = 0.251
Citation count*4 (2020-05-09)
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* presented citation count is obtained through Internet information analysis and it is close to the number calculated by the Publish or Perish system.
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