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PSYCH 309 - Lecture 22 (The Mirror System) - Nov 26.docx

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University of British Columbia
PSYC 309
Todd Handy

Lecture 22 – November 26 The Mirror System • We have in our heads, neurons that will activate when we perform an action, same neuron will activate when we see someone do the same action. o Neurons to control own behaviour, same as for others • Something happening to somebody – feel own leg breaking, hard to watch o Activate same neural circuitry • E.g. pornography o What you’re observing gives pleasure in own circuitry when watching others Rizzolatti’s Finding • Monkey – record neuron, when reaching out and grabbing food • Lines = Action potential, when reaching out monkey’s neurons firing • Eat ice cream in front of monkey – same neurons are firing when monkey sees person eat o Not only motor, but also when watching others eat • Understanding other people, empathy the same concept The Chameleon Effect – Chartrand (1999) A consequence of the mirror neuron system The chameleon effect refers to the nonconscious mimicry of the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of one’s interaction partners, such that one’s behavior passively and unintentionally changes to match that of others in one’s current social environment. We suggest that the mechanism involved is the perception behavior link, where the mere perception of another’s behavior automatically increases the likelihood of engaging in that behavior oneself. • See someone doing something, want to do it yourself • E.g. watch soccer, find yourself wanting to kick, mirroring Experiment 1 • Do we really mimic? Establish phenomenon first • Do you tend to rub your face more if there’s someone rubbing their face? Same as shaking foot o Impacting participant? • Shows increasing mimicking behaviour of confederate • When confederate smiled a lot, participant more likely to smile If we do in fact mimic, why do we? [From the Office] • why we go beyond understanding others through observing their actions • We understand the reasons behind our own actions, use this same system to understand intention of others (e.g. see people drink, thirsty) o go to the length we do, mimic people • Andy, new employee, meet Scott, boss, for the first time • Personality mirroring o “likeable wave about him” Iclicker: When you’re talking to someone you don’t know well and you want them to like you, do you ever find yourself smiling? – 90% said yes; Tend to smile to get people to try to like you • Saw before: With someone who smiles, participant more likely to smile; With someone that doesn’t smile, less likely to smile o How often you mimic others when other person smile • Not looking at whether mimicking a smile, looking at how often do you mimic other things of a conversation partner as a function of whether they smile or not o Smiling impact mimicry to other stuff other than smiling • People tend to mimic more when people maintain a neutral expression • Someone smiling at you – typically think other person likes me o On same page, don’t have to worry o Neutral – trying to get another person to like you, mimic more unconsciously Why do we mimic? – create sense of smoother social interactions Experiment 2 • Mimicry – not just increase liking, but smoother social interaction • Condition 1 – mimic; condition 2 - neutral • Mimic = like confederate and interaction go more smoothly o Pro social benefits Van Baaren (2004) • Enhance liking, smoother interaction, how does this engage prosociality on a broader level? o Beyond those just mimicking, enhance desire to be more social in general • Mimicked – 100% will pick up pens of confederate o 84% picked up someone else’s pens • Mimicked – more likely to donate, social effect of mimicry Ashton­James (2009) • Lecture 9 – Global v. Local • What is this global mind state? What extent does mimicry impact ourselves conceptually – change social interactions (not like someone or not, willing to donate) o Thinking, solving problems • Global state of mind – superficially look different, but can we integrate it together, find coherent theme, tie it all together = convergent thinking • Can mimicry facilitate/promote bringing these things together? Converging on common idea? • Exam: • Divergent – how well you can start at starting point and see things differently o To what extent how readily can you think about it from another perspective, diverge from current theme and see it differently o E.g. high jump – use to jump stomach first, but this guy starting going backwards, did it a lot better; think about it differently, divergent thinking
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