Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mimicry might make you more liberal at ScienceNOW

I have to tell you that this is not the best study I've reported on—the sample and effect sizes are small—but the result is nonetheless kind of interesting. Here's the idea: people unconsciously mimic each other, and there's evidence that makes people more empathetic and, in particular, more likely to think of themselves in terms of their relationships with other people rather than in terms of their own traits. That, in turn, has been connected to more liberal ideology. Hence this experiment, which suggests a connection between the sort of social cues implicit in mimicking someone (unconsciously) and voting for, in the US, Democrats.