The effects of automatic evaluation of facial attractiveness on mimicry
Research has found that we have a tendency to automatically evaluate others based on facial attractiveness and that we nonconsciously mimic one another during social interactions. The purpose of this study was to examine whether individual differences in automatic bias for attractiveness predicted behavioral mimicry. Participants watched a video depicting an actor of the opposite sex reading a script while touching his/her face continuously. Participants were surreptitiously videotaped while watching the video. Afterwards their automatic evaluation of facial attractiveness was assessed. As expected, participants who showed a high automatic bias for attractiveness were more likely to mimic the face-touching behavior of the actor in the video if they perceived him/her to be attractive rather than unattractive. These findings provide further evidence that people make automatic judgments of others based on attractiveness, and that these judgments have downstream behavioral consequences that may affect the quality of our social interactions.