The forest, the trees, and the chameleon: context dependence and mimicry.


Journal Article

Three studies examined the relation between context dependence in information processing and behavioral mimicry. In Experiment 1, a field-dependent cognitive style was related to a greater tendency to mimic a target's behavior. In Experiment 2 context dependence was experimentally manipulated, and results showed more mimicry in the session where a context-dependent processing style was induced compared with the session where a context-independent processing style was induced. Experiment 3 provided evidence for bidirectionality in the relation between context dependence and mimicry. Specifically, participants whose posture and behavior had been unobtrusively mimicked by an experimenter subsequently processed information in a more context-dependent manner than did nonmimicked participants. Taken together, these results illustrate the interplay between basic cognitive and behavioral processes.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Van Baaren, RB; Horgan, TG; Chartrand, TL; Dijkmans, M

Published Date

  • March 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 86 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 453 - 459

PubMed ID

  • 15008648

Pubmed Central ID

  • 15008648

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1315

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0022-3514

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0022-3514.86.3.453


  • eng