Number 22 (2012)

Szuster, A., Wojnarowska, A., Wieteska, M. (2012). The influence of mimicry and accessibility of others perspective on reduction of infra-humanization

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Anna Szuster, Agnieszka Wojnarowska, Miriam Wieteska
Faculty of Psychology, University of Warsaw

Abstract:
The study focused on the impact that the imitation of facial expressions and the individually differentiated ability to take the perspective of another person, have on the tendency to infra-humanize out-group members. It was expected that imitating the target shown in the film will limit infra-humanization, that is, perception of others as less capable of experiencing the exclusively human emotions. It was also expected that the conditions of imitating versus refraining from imitation will affect the tendency to infra-humanize or not mostly among participants with low ability to take the perspective of the other. The study conducted among 80 female students was of experimental and individual character. It was based on questionnaire method and employed natural conditions of mimicry activation in contact with a person shown in a specially prepared film material. The results confirmed the hypotheses. Imitation of facial expression reduced the tendency to infra-humanize. An interactive influence of accessibility of other perspective and imitation was confirmed: persons with low accessibility were found to be more susceptible to manipulation and reacted with decreased infra-humanization in conditions of imitation as compared with non imitation conditions. Persons with high accessibility showed less effect of the imitation manipulation on infra-humanization.

Keywords: accessibility of other perspective, infra-humanization, mimicry

Cite this article as:

Szuster, A., Wojnarowska, A., Wieteska, M. (2012).  The influence of mimicry and accessibility of others perspective on reduction of infra-humanization. Psychologia Społeczna, 22, 261–271.
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