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Embodiment and mimicry

Emotions change what happens in our bodies - they prepare us to attack, defend, withdraw, or relax.

In our research, we examine the link between conceptual representations of emotion and bodily states [Suzanne Oosterwijk], and study emotional mimicry, that is, the relationship between perceiving others’ emotional signals and producing matching emotional expressions ourselves [Agneta Fischer].

We also examine the relationship between group belonging and mimicry; do we copy others more if they are part of our group? [Maien Sachisthal]

Some of our research studies embodiment and action tendencies in the context of advertising [Peter Lewinski] and primate pupil synchronisation [Mariska Kret].

Key papers:

Hess U. & Fischer, A.H. (2014). Emotional mimicry: why and when we mimic emotions.  Social Psychological Compass, 8, 45-57.

Kret, M. E., Tomonaga, M. & Matasuzawa, T. (2014). Chimpanzees and humans mimic pupil-size of conspecifics.  PLoS One, 9 (8),e104886.

Lewinski, P., Fransen, M.L. & Tan, E.S.H. (2014). Predicting advertising effectiveness by facial expressions in response to amusing persuasive stimuli.  Journal of Neuroscience, Psychology and Economics, 7 (1), 1-14.

Oosterwijk, S., Rotteveel, M., Fischer, A.H., & Hess, U. (2009). Embodied emotion concepts: How generating words about pride and disappointment influences posture.  European Journal of Social Psychology, 39, 457-466.