ERIC Number: ED189487
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980
Reference Count: 0
Observer Mediation and Learning in the Presence of a Stranger.
Berger, Seymour M.; Hecken, Margit H.
Some research has found that observers believe overt mimicry is socially unacceptable and embarrassing in the presence of a stranger. It was hypothesized that observers would inhibit their mimicry of learned pairs of gestures in the presence of a stranger, and that their learning would be adversely affected unless they compensated for the reduction in mimicry by an increase in symbolic coding, especially imaginal coding. Undergraduate students (24 females and 10 males) learned pairs of gestures either in the presence of a stranger or alone, and then completed a questionnaire assessing mediation types, learning strategies, and anxiety/suspicious feelings about the experiment. The results showed that mimicry decreased and imaginal coding of gestural pairs increased in the presence of a stranger, particularly for the first pair of gestures presented. Imaginal coding of the first pair was positively related to observer learning of that pair. Observer mediation (to some extent) and learning (to a larger extent) tended to diminish during the sequential presentation of the gestures. (Author)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Gestures; Mimicry
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (51st, Hartford, CT, April 9-12, 1980). Best copy available.