2019 Volume 16 Issue 2 Pages 15-24
People automatically mimic the behaviors of others, which tends to lead mimicked individuals to prefer the mimicking individual. One’s impressions on others can be enhanced by mimicking hand or foot movements, facial expressions, and even pupil dilation. It has also been reported that multiple individuals tend to synchronize their eye blinking when watching a movie or listening to a speech at the same time. Accordingly, although no studies have investigated eye-blinking mimicry to date, we hypothesize that it should occur. This study investigates whether participants will unconsciously mimic the eye blinking of others and whether that enhances impressions towards the mimicking individual. More specifically, we first presented the participants with images of individuals blinking at random times and examined whether the participants would mimic the blinking individual and, then, to investigate the effects of mimicry, we presented individuals blinking at the same time as the participants. The results indicate both that the participants unconsciously blinked at the same time as the individuals in the presented images and that ratings of favorability were higher for the individuals who synchronized their eye-blinking with the participants. These findings demonstrate the eye-blinking mimicry occurs and that it can contribute to enhanced impressions.