Impression or expression? The influence of self-monitoring on the social modulation of motor contagion

Roberts, James W. and Bennett, Simon J. and Hayes, Spencer J. (2016) Impression or expression? The influence of self-monitoring on the social modulation of motor contagion. Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. ISSN 1747-0226 (Accepted for Publication)

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Social primes (pro-social, anti-social) can modulate mimicry behaviour. To date, these social modulation effects have been explained by the primed incentive to affiliate with another (Social Top-Down Response Modulation; STORM) and the primed active-self-concept leading to behaviour that is either consistent or inconsistent with the prime-construct (Active-Self account). The present study was designed to explore the explanatory power for each of these accounts, and thereby gain a greater understanding of how social modulation unfolds. To do this, we assessed social modulation of motor contagion in individuals high or low in self-monitoring. It was reasoned that high self-monitors would modulate mimicry according to the primed social incentive, whereas low self-monitors would modulate according to the primed active-self-concept. Participants were primed with a pro-social and anti-social cue in the first-person and third-person perspective. Next, they completed an interpersonal observation-execution task featuring the simultaneous observation and execution of arm movements that were either congruent or incongruent to each other. Results showed increased incongruent movement deviation (motor contagion) for the anti-social compared to the pro-social prime in the high self-monitors only. Findings support the STORM account of mimicry by showing observers modulate behaviour based on the social incentive underpinning an interpersonal exchange.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology, available online:
Keywords: motor contagion, social modulation, top-down, active-self, self-monitoring
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Science > School of Health Sciences
Depositing User: James Roberts
Date Deposited: 07 Apr 2017 08:28
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2017 00:15

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