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Pers Soc Psychol Bull. 2008 Jul;34(7):939-50. doi: 10.1177/0146167208316693. Epub 2008 May 2.

Mimicking attractive opposite-sex others: the role of romantic relationship status.

Author information

1
Behavioural Science Institute, Radboud University, Netherlands. j.karremans@bsi.ru.nl

Abstract

Based on the recent literature indicating that nonconscious behavioral mimicry is partly goal directed, three studies examined, and supported, the hypothesis that people who are involved in a romantic relationship nonconsciously mimic an attractive opposite-sex other to a lesser extent than people not involved in a relationship. Moreover, Studies 2 and 3 revealed that romantically involved persons tended to mimic an attractive alternative less to the extent that they were more close to their current partner. Finally, Study 3 provided preliminary support for a potential underlying mechanism, revealing that the effect of relationship status on level of mimicry displayed toward an opposite-sex other is mediated by perceived attractiveness of the opposite-sex other. The present findings suggest that behavioral mimicry serves an implicit self-regulatory function in relationship maintenance. Implications for both the literature on relationship maintenance and the literature on behavioral mimicry are discussed.

PMID:
18453390
DOI:
10.1177/0146167208316693
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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