What Is The Chameleon Effect In Psychology?

What Is The Chameleon Effect In Psychology
Abstract – The chameleon effect refers to nonconscious mimicry of the postures, mannerisms, facial expressions, and other behaviors of one’s interaction partners, such that one’s behavior passively and unintentionally changes to match that of others in one’s current social environment.

  1. The authors suggest that the mechanism involved is the perception-behavior link, the recently documented finding (e.g., J.A. Bargh, M.
  2. Chen, & L.
  3. Burrows, 1996) that the mere perception of another’s behavior automatically increases the likelihood of engaging in that behavior oneself.
  4. Experiment 1 showed that the motor behavior of participants unintentionally matched that of strangers with whom they worked on a task.

Experiment 2 had confederates mimic the posture and movements of participants and showed that mimicry facilitates the smoothness of interactions and increases liking between interaction partners. Experiment 3 showed that dispositionally empathic individuals exhibit the chameleon effect to a greater extent than do other people.

What is an example of chameleon effect in psychology?

Chameleon Effect Examples –

Imitating a friend’s smile during a conversation: People may unconsciously smile when they see their friend smiling, which is a natural human response. Next time you run into someone, smile, and see whether they smile back. It’s highly likely! Copying the body posture of a colleague in a meeting: By echoing the nonverbal cues of others through body language, people can demonstrate agreement and interest. It can also help people to feel more relaxed and comfortable in social situations, which may be why we do it. Mimicking the speech patterns of a new acquaintance: Adapting one’s way of speaking to align with the style of others is another way of unconsciously trying to blend in and foster a sense of social coherence. Adopting similar gestures as someone you are talking to: By copying gestures and movements, individuals may foster rapport and establish a more positive connection with those they are interacting with. Mirroring the tone of voice of someone you are communicating with: Matching one’s tone of voice with that of others is another unconscious method of adapting to social situations and developing a sense of rapport. If someone speaks softly, you may find yourself speaking softly, too! Copying the way someone crosses their legs or arms: Reflecting physical movements of others is a common aspect of the chameleon effect. Next time you cross your arms, look around at the group you’re talking to and see if someone else subconsciously follows suit. Following the pace of someone’s movements: By synchronizing the pace of movements with others, individuals can create a sense of harmony and comfort in social situations. Imitating someone’s laugh accent: Have you ever noticed yourself randomly speaking in a bit of a British accent when you’re around Brits? That’s the chameleon effect kicking in! Matching someone’s head nods or other head movements: By replicating head movements, individuals may demonstrate agreement and comprehension with others. In fact, this is something we explicitly teach in the active listening method to demonstrate to people that you’re engaged in the conversation. Taking on similar facial expressions as the person you are interacting with: By mirroring facial expressions, individuals may create a sense of empathy and understanding with others. If someone’s sad, we’ll often also put on a dour face to show we’re empathizing. Code switching: A term coined by African-American scholars, this refers to the change in language that black people have found themselves engaging in around white people in order to try to fit into a dominantly white culture, Altering one’s posture to match someone’s: By mirroring posture, people can establish agreement and understanding in social situations. A server mirroring their clients: Servers have found themselves mirroring the language and mannerisms of clients because it can lead to higher tips.

Why do people have the chameleon effect?

Impact of the Chameleon Effect – The chameleon effect is an unknowing mimic of other people’s behaviors, and it’s perfectly normal. If you live or interact with another person or people for long enough, you are bound to pick up some of their behaviors, mannerisms, facial expressions, and gestures.

  • You might particularly notice the chameleon effect in couples who have been together for a long time, or best friends.
  • The chameleon effect has been shown to have a positive impact on human social interactions.
  • According to Tanya L.
  • Chartrand and John A.
  • Bargh, two psychologists who were the first to explore the phenomenon, very empathetic people are more likely to imitate others than people who aren’t.

When a person is truly empathetic, they pay more attention and form deeper connections with the person they are interacting with, which makes them more likely to mimic. However, when people who aren’t very empathetic attempt to mimic someone else, the gesture can ring false and have the opposite effect of the social advantages one typically gets because of the chameleon effect.

What is the chameleon effect disorder?

People with borderline personality disorder frequently exhibit chameleon behaviors, which causes them to lose their sense of self. They act like a completely different person depending on the individual in front of them. When a group of individuals gets together, it might be tough to know how to behave for someone with a chameleon personality.

What is a chameleon personality?

Client Services Director – APAC at Argyll Scott Singapore – Published Jun 17, 2020 chameleon – noun, often attributive : a person who often changes his or her beliefs or behaviour to please others or to succeed : one that is subject to quick or frequent change, especially in appearance.

When I was working in the UK, my former manager once used the term above to describe me. When you read this particular dictionary definition, as well as descriptions from other sources, words such as “fickle” or “inconsistent” are referenced, which sound pretty negative, but I beg to differ. Being a chameleon, particularly in a sales role, is an art form that can give you a huge advantage.

To be a chameleon you must be able to quickly adapt to changing situations, people and environments. The “one size fits all” approach doesn’t work; the rules change depending on geography, to whom you’re talking, and what the challenge is, and so it takes a well-rounded individual with varied experience to be a chameleon.


Being upfront with people and stating clear intentions and purpose has always served me well. Transparent communication, especially if the message isn’t wholly positive, is essential. I have quickly learnt new markets, job disciplines, industries, and have launched desks from scratch, by honestly communicating my desire to learn from people, telling them that I am new to the space.

  • Similarly, in Business Development, doors have opened when I have been frank and not exaggerated my capabilities.
  • Despite having never worked with the company in the past, a new client came to me with three exclusive roles, solely based on the hiring manager’s experience with me as a candidate.
  • I had been honest with her at that time and given her advice on how to approach the market, which led to her securing her first role in Singapore.

It was the fact that I’d been open and transparent that impressed her the most, and why she came back to partner with me on these exclusive roles.2. Empathy Adapting to your environment with a certain cultural sensitivity is vital. Understanding Cockney in London, Mandarin in Beijing, Cantonese in Hong Kong or Singlish in Singapore is only the first step to being able to communicate, especially in markets where English isn’t the first language.

  1. You also need to modify your working practices to incorporate local cultural ways.
  2. When I first moved to Hong Kong, I got increasingly frustrated with candidates not committing to things we had discussed during briefing phone calls.
  3. I was advised to put those same points into an email and ask the candidate to reply with their commitment and see what happened.

I immediately saw a commitment change among these same candidates, who were more devoted to their job search and kept to their word.3. Agility Like an actual chameleon changing its color, agility enables you to quickly change focus without diluting your proposition.

Throughout my career, I’ve adjusted my focus in response to shifts in the market or global changes. I took a step back during the collapse of Lehman Brothers; the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong; and now COVID-19, to align to a market that would (in theory) perform well, remaining a consistent and top biller for my firm.

In the face of adversity, certain markets will thrive. During the Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, people still needed daily provisions, and 7/11 stores couldn’t stock their shelves fast enough – they had opposite issues to declining sales! Whilst not specific to any short-term market conditions, here at Argyll Scott, Jason and Hazel both pivoted (from their previous focus) into the Digital market to take advantage of the tech boom caused by lock-downs as well as shifting trends towards digitization.

Does everyone have the chameleon effect?

This kind of mimicking behavior is related to a common phenomenon called the chameleon effect, and almost everyone experiences it at some time.

Why do I mimic people’s personalities?

Imitating others’ actions or gestures can be a natural human behavior, but when it happens frequently and involuntarily, it could be echopraxia. Mimicking or mirroring someone else’s actions can be a natural part of the human socialization and learning process.

  1. Young children often repeat the movements of adults or mirror social gestures while learning about social reciprocity.
  2. Mirroring behaviors can also occur in adults, but it isn’t as common.
  3. For example, you may observe someone yawning and then have the urge to yawn.
  4. However, when imitating others’ actions occurs frequently and involuntarily later in adolescence or as an adult, it could be echopraxia.

People with schizophrenia, Tourette syndrome, and those on the autism spectrum could be more likely to experience echopraxia, which may contribute to having social challenges.

What is an example of the chameleon effect in your own life?

Such a ‘chameleon effect’ may manifest itself in different ways. One may notice using the idiosyncratic verbal expressions or speech inflections of a friend. Or one may notice crossing one’s arms while talking with someone else who has his or her arms crossed.

What is the chameleon theory?

Einstein’s gravity-explaining theory of general relativity may not tell the complete story of how galaxies and black holes formed throughout the universe. New supercomputer simulations implementing something called Chameleon Theory provide an alternative explanation for how galaxies formed, and may also help scientists understand dark energy, according to a University of Durham press release,

  1. Chameleon Theory is a new theory of gravity in which the effects of gravity can fluctuate and change based on the environment.
  2. That’s in stark contrast from general relativity, in which gravitational force is treated as a constant.
  3. General relativity has been experimentally validated, but the models show that Chameleon Theory can’t be ruled out as an alternative, as a universe acting according to the new theory would still form the same kind of galaxies and black holes.

The main difference between the two is that general relativity treats dark energy — the mysterious, yet-undetected force thought to be pushing the universe apart — as a sort of uniform constant. The simulations of Chameleon Theory, described in research published Monday in the journal Nature Astronomy, instead treat that force as a changing variable.

Tweaking the variables of dark energy and gravity in the simulation affected the amount of cosmic gases that supermassive black holes consumed and burned away, which in turn determined how many stars form in a galaxy. “Chameleon Theory allows for the laws of gravity to be modified so we can test the effect of changes in gravity on galaxy formation,” Durham computational cosmologist Christian Arnold said in the press release.

“Through our simulations we have shown for the first time that even if you change gravity, it would not prevent disc galaxies with spiral arms from forming.” Chameleon Theory doesn’t by any means debunk general relativity, though. Models for both general relativity and Chameleon Theory gave rise to realistic galaxies.

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What is it called when you mimic someone’s personality?

Echopraxia (also known as echokinesis) is the involuntary repetition or imitation of another person’s actions.

What is a chameleon narcissist?

Chameleon-like personality traits of a narcissist They can change their persona to fit any situation, making it difficult to identify them as narcissists. They may be friendly and personable when they want something from someone but can quickly turn cold or even vicious if they don’t get what they want.

Is being a chameleon a personality disorder?

Poor sense of self The BPD chameleon is born out of what the DSM IV refers to as a ‘markedly and persistently unstable self-image or sense of self. ‘ This identity disturbance results in a personality that changes like the weather — or rather like environment.

Are people with BPD chameleons?

BPD – becoming a chameleon to fill the void. – An individual with BPD will often explain that they often feel like a chameleon- changing who they are to fit whatever is going on in their environment, Because being alone is so often intolerable to a Borderline person, they grasp at whatever straws they can to feel included. It can feel like a complete shit storm of trying to ” find ” themselves.

Which personality type is most chameleon?

5. INFJs can mesh with almost anyone – INFJs are social chameleons. While we definitely have a preference for introversion, others are often surprised by this, seeing us as extraverted types. That’s because an INFJ has the ability to ‘chameleon’ and make themself appear extraverted, partially because they love people, but also because they are used to adapting themselves to better fit the world around them.

Camouflaging to fit specific social groups or people, others might accuse the INFJ of being fake, but that’s not the case. The INFJ works hard to chameleon around others. Feeling misunderstood is part and parcel, and I’ve learned to adapt my behavior to suit situations. For example, I’m more of a jokester with one friend, an Introvert with another, and an intellectual with another.

It’s like showing myself in pieces. Because someone may not understand who I am as a whole, I curtail myself to suit our relationship.

What are 4 characteristics of a chameleon?

Chameleons Temporal range: Early Miocene – present, 26–0 Ma PreꞒ Ꞓ O S D C P T J K Pg N Middle Paleocene origins
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Reptilia
Order: Squamata
Suborder: Iguania
Clade : Acrodonta
Family: Chamaeleonidae Rafinesque, 1815
  • Brookesiinae
    • Brookesia
    • Palleon
  • Chamaeleoninae
    • Archaius
    • Bradypodion
    • Calumma
    • Chamaeleo
    • Furcifer
    • Kinyongia
    • Nadzikambia
    • Rieppeleon
    • Rhampholeon
    • Trioceros
Native range of Chamaeleonidae

Chameleons or chamaeleons ( family Chamaeleonidae ) are a distinctive and highly specialized clade of Old World lizards with 200 species described as of June 2015. The members of this family are best known for their distinct range of colors, being capable of shifting to different hues and degrees of brightness.

The large number of species in the family exhibit considerable variability in their capacity to change color. For some, it is more of a shift of brightness (shades of brown); for others, a plethora of color-combinations (reds, yellows, greens, blues) can be seen. Chameleons are distinguished by their zygodactylous feet, their prehensile tail, their laterally compressed bodies, their head casques, their projectile tongues, their swaying gait, and crests or horns on their brow and snout.

Chameleons’ eyes are independently mobile, and because of this there are two separate, individual images that the brain is analyzing of the chameleon’s environment. When hunting prey, they focus forward in coordination, affording the animal stereoscopic vision,

  • Chameleons are adapted for climbing and visual hunting.
  • The use of their prehensile tail offers stability when they are moving or resting while on a branch in the canopy; because of this, their tail is often referred to as a “fifth limb”.
  • Another character that is advantageous for being arboreal is how laterally compressed their bodies are; it is important for them to distribute their weight as evenly as possible as it confers stability on twigs and branches in the trees.

They live in warm habitats that range from rainforest to desert conditions, with various species occurring in Africa, Madagascar, southern Europe, and across southern Asia as far as Sri Lanka, They have been introduced to Hawaii, California, and Florida,

What is an emotional chameleon?

The Chameleon Complex – Psychological Counseling Services, Ltd. The Chameleon Complex | Timothy M. Tays, PhD Many people look good but feel bad. They are chronically stressed, sad, and anxious. They are lonely in their marriages and disconnected in their relationships.

They know something is wrong but have no idea what it might be. They fear, “If you really knew me, you wouldn’t like me.” A “chameleon” is a person who changes his or her opinions, ethics, morals, and behavior to please others or to defend himself or herself. This person often behaves in a manner so plastic, shallow, and two-dimensional that it is like witnessing an act.

People sometimes wonder, who is this person really? Why isn’t there any connection? There’s always thisdistance. Everybody knows a chameleon, but not everybody recognizes it when he or she is one. Chameleons believe that if they were perfect—had a slicker act—then they’d feel better, people would like them more, and they could protect themselves from being hurt.

They try to be attractive in a way that they do not believe they were as children. They feel shame, so they chronically alter their true “colors” to protect themselves. They attempt to control the image others have of them. They “impression manage” or control and cultivate the image they convey to others.

By controlling the image they project, people can exercise some influence over how they are perceived by others and the way others respond to them. The payoff is feeling safe; the cost is lonesome suffering, even when they are surrounded by people. Of course, we all learn to behave differently depending on the roles we fulfill to meet our responsibilities.

For example, in a single day a person may transition through many roles: wake up as a spouse, parent the children to school, work as an employee and later as a boss, eat lunch as a friend, go to the gym and be an acquaintance to some and a stranger to others, drop by his or her own parents’ house and feel like a child again, before returning home and back into the role of spouse and parent.

These shifts in roles are necessary and normal, and we are more or less transparent depending on the relationship. But when we remain opaque to everybody (i.e., highly defended), we can become chameleonlike, and we may become stuck in one “color” or shift to many “colors,” resulting in nobody knowing who we truly are.

This behavior is not authentic, results in little emotional intimacy, and that can feel bad, especially when it’s chronic. However, there is help. It seems counterintuitive that the best way to deal with the Chameleon Complex is to stop covering shame and to uncover it. Many people need to learn how to let down their guard around safe people in order to reveal more of their authentic selves, to keep up their guard when the situation demands it, and to know the difference.

Very quickly, connection will result, and loneliness, sadness, and worry will fade. With awareness comes the ability to change and grow. As I mentioned earlier, the etiology of the Chameleon Complex is shame. The sources of shame are diverse. To name just a few sources: neglect or abuse in family of origin, religious messages that we are not good enough, social stressors (e.g., bullies, underdeveloped social skills, etc.), critical teachers and other authority figures, or even failure to navigate age appropriate milestones (e.g., adolescents slower to physically mature, slower academic progression, etc.).

The treatment for the Chameleon Complex is very similar as that for cognitive-behavioral psychotherapy for social anxiety. We want to identify and challenge any cognitive distortions, such as mind reading (e.g., “They’re thinking what a loser I am.”), emotional reasoning (e.g., “I feel anxious so there must be a problem.”), all-or-none thinking (“Nobody can ever truly love who I really am.”), etc.

Behavioral exposures are used to decrease anxiety, in this case, gradually exposing the “chameleon” to more appropriate self-disclosure with others (self-disclosure should go in both directions, with both individuals being open and vulnerable with each other).

The result is acceptance, greater connection, self-confidence, and healing of shame. Not everyone is safe to be transparent with. Some people will use our information against us; some will spread it inappropriately. Therefore, keep the model below in mind (Levels of Intimacy, modified from Marilyn Murry’s Circles of Intimacy).

This will help determine with whom to take greater emotional risks.

How do I know if I’m mirroring someone?

What is Mirroring and Which Personality Types are Most Likely to Do It? When someone copies the facial expressions, gestures, vocal inflections, opinions, and attitudes of another person during a social interaction, this is known as mirroring. The point of mirroring is to make a positive impression on the other person, to encourage the development of a friendship or promote feelings of goodwill.

On some occasions people may adopt mirroring behaviors in group settings as well, if they find the members of the group interesting or attractive. Mirroring can be conscious or unconscious, meaning it can be either a deliberate tactic to create a favorable response, or a reflection of a person’s natural interest in creating mutually satisfying social relationships.

Whether intentional or not, reflects a need to gain acceptance from others. But does mimicking another person’s outlook and behavior really build trust and affection? It certainly can, if it is done out of sincere interest or affection and with unselfish intent.

What is the common chameleon behavior?

Chameleon Chameleons change colors to attract mates, regulate body temperature, or tell intruders to stay away. Chameleons change colors to attract mates, regulate body temperature, or tell intruders to stay away. Photograph by Cathy Keifer, Dreamstime A chameleon sits motionlessly on a tree branch. Chameleons mostly live in the rain forests and deserts of Africa. The color of their skin helps them blend in with their, Chameleons that hang out in trees are usually green. Those that live in are most often brown. They often change color to warm up or cool down.

Turning darker helps warm the animals because the dark colors absorb more heat.) They also switch shades to communicate with other chameleons, using bright colors to attract potential mates or warn enemies. So how exactly do chameleons change colors? The outer layer of their skin is see-through. Beneath that are layers of special cells filled with pigment—the substance that gives plants and animals (including you) color.

To display a new color, the brain sends a message for these cells to get bigger or smaller. As this happens, pigments from different cells are released, and they mix with each other to create new skin tones. For instance, red and blue pigment may mix to make the chameleon look purple.

What is the reverse chameleon effect?

General Discussion – Bodily mimicry can influence people’s attitudes about their conversational partners – even virtual partners. Here we show that the spatial perspective adopted by a mimicker can determine whether mimicry has a positive or a negative effect on the mimickee.

  1. Participants who were mimicked anatomically rated VIRTUO significantly more negatively than participants who were mimicked mirrorwise, or not mimicked at all.
  2. In face-to-face conversation, mirrorwise and anatomical mimicry had opposite social consequences.
  3. These results suggest that motor mimicry’s positive consequences depend on spatial similarity between the mimicker and mimickee, not similarity in motor circuits or effectors, which is greater for anatomical mimicry than for mirrorwise mimicry.

This study is the first to demonstrate that anatomical mimicry can cause the mimickee to evaluate the mimicker more negatively: a Reverse-Chameleon Effect, These data are broadly consistent with those of an observational study testing relationships between students’ rapport with their professors and the rate at which they adopted body postures similar to their professors’.

LaFrance and Broadbent (1976) found a positive correlation between rapport and the rate of mirrorwise mimicry, but no significant association between rapport and anatomical mimicry ( Bavelas et al., 1988 ). More broadly, these data are consistent with studies showing that the effect of mimicry is not always positive, and can depend on the specifics of the social situation ( Stel et al., 2010 ; Liu et al., 2011 ) and the personality of the mimicker ( Leander et al., 2012 ) or the mimickee ( Kavanagh et al., 2011 ; Stel et al., 2011 ; Sparenberg et al., 2012 ).

Why might mirrorwise mimicry have positive consequences and anatomical mimicry negative consequences in the mind of the mimickee? We consider four possible explanations based on (1) contingency of behaviors, (2) perceptual oneness, (3) perceptual fluency, and (4) signaling cooperation.

  1. On the first possibility, mimicry could have positive social consequences because it creates a contingency between interlocutors’ behaviors, making the behavior the mimicker more predictable to the mimickee ( Catmur and Heyes, 2013 ).
  2. The present results do not support this proposal: VIRTUOs movements in the mirrorwise and anatomical mimicry conditions shared the same contingency relationships with the subjects’ movements.
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If contingency were driving the social effects of mimicry then subjects’ ratings of VIRTUO should have been equally positive across our mimicry conditions; contingency cannot explain why mirrorwise mimicry had positive effects but anatomical mimicry had negative effects.

  1. Thus, the present results militate against contingency as a driver of mimicry’s positive (or negative) social effects.
  2. Second, Bavelas et al.
  3. 1988) proposed that the mimicker’s actions are designed to communicate a message to the mimickee: “I am with you” or “I am like you” ( Chartrand and Bargh, 1999 ).

Bavelas and colleagues suggested that mirrorwise mimicry can convey this message, but anatomical mimicry cannot, because only mirrored actions can be perceived in terms of the Gestalt principles of similarity and common fate: indices of perceptual “oneness” between mimicker and mimickee, and therefore of social unity.

  • Although it is possible that mirrorwise mimicry communicates the message “I am like you” to mimickees as Bavelas et al.
  • 1988) suggest, we note that it is unlikely that this message is communicated via principles of gestalt visual perception that give rise to a sense of perceptual oneness, for a simple reason: In many situations, including the present experiment, mimickees are unable to see their own actions that are being mimicked.

In such situations, the effects of mimicry must depend on a match (or mismatch) between the mimickee’s visual perception of the mimicker’s actions and their proprioceptive sense of their own body’s position – not on Gestalt visual principles. On a third possibility, from early childhood, people have a tendency to spontaneously mimic others mirrorwise ( Wapner and Cirillo, 1968 ; Bavelas et al., 1988 ).

  • Mimickees should be most accustomed to seeing mimickers adopting this perspective, making mirrorwise mimicry more predictable and easier to process visually than anatomical mimicry.
  • If so, we suggest that differences in processing fluency could account for the opposite effects of the two imitation perspectives, since in many circumstances, fluency leads to positive evaluations and disfluency to negative evaluations ( Casasanto and Chrysikou, 2011 ; Oppenheimer, 2008 ; Reber et al., 2004 ).

Finally, face-to-face mirroring increases overlap in the trajectories of the actions that mimickers and mimickees perform. To clarify, anatomical mimicry increases overlap in the effectors used to perform actions (since both parties are using the same body parts, as opposed to using contralateral homologs), but decreases overlap in the spatial trajectories and locations of those actions compared to mirrorwise mimicry.

  1. Outside of the laboratory, conversations are often situated in an environment populated with manipulable objects, and take place because one or both parties want to achieve some goal.
  2. This goal may entail interacting with the objects at hand.
  3. Suppose that one person wants to help the other person act upon an object located to one person’s right.

If they start out facing each other, when they reach for the object they must move in mirrorwise fashion. We suggest that the positive social consequences of mirrorwise mimicry – and the negative consequences of anatomical mimicry – could arise from the fact that mimicking mirrorwise increases the mimicker’s readiness for cooperative joint actions ( Clark, 1996 ; Sebanz et al., 2006 ) whereas anatomical mimicry decreases readiness to cooperate.

  1. Many of the actions that people mimic, including the head movements we manipulated in this study, may not be not goal directed, but habitually mimicking prepares the mimicker to cooperate with those actions that are goal directed.
  2. According to this proposal, which we call the cooperation hypothesis, mimicry that increases the mimicker’s readiness to perform cooperative actions could have a positive influence on the mimickee whether or not mimicry enhances visual blending-in ( Chartrand and Bargh, 1999 ) or perceived oneness ( Bavelas et al., 1988 ).

The present data are inconsistent with the first two possible explanations for the perspective-dependence of mimicry’s effect (contingency of behaviors, gestalt visual perception of oneness), but these results are consistent with the latter two possibilities that we propose (perceptual fluency, signaling readiness to cooperate).

Do people with BPD copy people?

Self-Esteem Shifts – People with BPD tend to deal with overwhelming self-doubt —or a lack of confidence in making decisions based on their abilities. These individuals have incredibly unstable self-esteem, so they rely heavily on external praise and approval to help define their identity, Dr.

Is mirroring a disorder?

Do you know the Mirror Syndrome? 🖼 | OpenMind In recent months and in different ways, various media have warned, with more or less certainty and alarm, about some of the disorders caused in many young women by the compulsive use of social networks such as Instagram, among others, in all matters relating to the image of their bodies in relation to those that are offered in a positive and desirable way in these virtual spaces. What Is The Chameleon Effect In Psychology As of July 1, 2021, influencers in Norway must indicate whether there is photo retouching in their Instagram posts According to Dr. Katherine Phillips of Cornell University, based on the findings of the scientific literature and our own research to date, Mirror Syndrome (also known as ) is a mental disorder related to body image that is more widespread than it might seem,

It is a serious health problem, which has not yet received the institutional, social and media attention it deserves, but for which the data indicate a notable increase among young women: of the total number of people diagnosed, 60% are women from the age of 12 or 13 and two thirds of women who experience this syndrome suffer disorders before the age of 18 (data from the International OCD Foundation).

The diagnosis and definition of Mirror Syndrome is not easy and affects people of any socioeconomic stratum, ethnicity or geographical origin. It is usually related to eating disorders. However, the root of this problem, which sometimes leads to eating disorders or even suicide, lies, according to our research, in an even deeper place, located in the very perception and consequent cultural narrative that these people construct around any part of their body.

Once the subject configures a narrative principle by which they assimilate and project that their body is in a state of crisis (misalignment, dissonance or imbalance with respect to other body models sanctioned as positive) a whole set of psychosocial problems is triggered, including low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, social isolation, and alcohol and illicit substance abuse to be able to cope with the hard-to-bear pressure and emotional burden, leading, in some cases, to suicidal behaviors.

According to the latest data offered by a study published in the Journal of Psychopathology in 2019, 21.5% of those with Mirror Syndrome have made suicide attempts and 74.5% have thought about attempting suicide, What Is The Chameleon Effect In Psychology The root of this problem is located in the perception itself and in the consequent cultural narrative that these people build around any area of their body The beauty influencer business is strategically related to the promotion of certain beauty standards, practices and behaviors not only imposed by those who produce them, but also reaffirmed and reconfigured by those who assume and consume them.

  • This is the case, for example, with the excessive use of body editing filters posted on social networks, mainly Instagram, which, in turn, generate new types of body and beauty standards that are increasingly distant from the real anatomical and aesthetic diversity of people.
  • This phenomenon develops into a feedback cycle that is very difficult to break, due to the fact that a cultural narrative is added to the commercial interest, constructed from the body identification narrative with a permanent state of crisis, where the dissonance with the model activates primary psycho-emotional responses of anguish, panic, hatred and frustration.

All this contributes, perhaps even more, to the difficulty of an already complex diagnosis. People suffering from Mirror Syndrome are often unaware that they suffer from such a disorder, nor in which area of its broad spectrum they find themselves. Their social environment is also unable to recognize the early warning signs soon enough, which are very often mistaken for normalized aspects of beauty rituals, the use of social networks, or even identified with fashion trends. What Is The Chameleon Effect In Psychology Part of the solution involves providing education on how to manage social networks and beauty filters to grasp the detriment of these to psychosocial development and understand the co-responsibility in the amplification, reproduction and activation of the cultural narrative of bodies in crisis as something normalized and positive Among other actions, some of the principles and objectives of the Norwegian law could be taken as a reference point to address this issue, such as the obligation to mark retouched or distorted advertising and to warn about the use of filters.

Is mirroring manipulative?

Related. For others, mirroring is a manipulative tactic for achieving selfish, devious or damaging purposes. People with Machiavellian traits may use it to improve their social status or align others with their purposes.

What is an example of the chameleon effect in your own life?

Such a ‘chameleon effect’ may manifest itself in different ways. One may notice using the idiosyncratic verbal expressions or speech inflections of a friend. Or one may notice crossing one’s arms while talking with someone else who has his or her arms crossed.

What is an example of mimicry in psychology?

1. Type of imitation: unconscious human mimicry – The social psychological studies providing evidence for the social side of imitation have mostly focused on human mimicry, In this field, mimicry is defined as unconscious or automatic imitation of gestures, behaviours, facial expressions, speech and movements (for an extensive review see Chartrand & Van Baaren 2009 ).

  • A prototypical example is when two people in a bar are involved in a conversation and are unaware of the fact that they take on the same posture, nod their heads, and make the same face rubbing or hair touching movements.
  • This type of mimicry thus is different from the more conscious types of imitation that have been studied in the realm of learning, modelling and acculturation (e.g.

Bandura 1962 ). This type of mimicry is also different from the types used in research in cognitive psychology and cognitive neuroscience that has focused on imitation (see other chapters in the special issue). The difference in this case centres around awareness; are you aware of the behaviour you see and are you intentionally trying to copy it? When it comes to unconscious mimicry, the answer to those questions is ‘no’.

  1. In most cognitive and neuropsychological studies, at least one of these questions is answered by ‘yes’.
  2. A related key difference between the social psychological studies and most of the studies in cognitive- and cognitive neuroscience is the relative focus on ecological versus internal validity.
  3. Most studies on unconscious mimicry use an observational method and one is in a sense waiting (like an amateur bird-watcher) until the behaviour to be imitated is spontaneously produced.

This is in contrast with many tasks used in cognitive- and cognitive neuroscience where often a stimulus–response compatibility task is used (e.g. Prinz 1990 ; Iacoboni et al,1999 ; Brass et al,2001 ; Massen & Prinz 2009 ) and the behaviour of interest is either instructed or inherent in the task or participants are consciously observing a behaviour and their spontaneous motor or neurological responses are coded.

  • It is important to realize that, in studies on unconscious human mimicry, mimicry is just a by-product in the interaction.
  • The participants are focusing on something completely different (e.g.
  • Working on a picture describing task ( Chartrand & Bargh 1999 ) or judging advertisements ( Van Baaren et al,2003 )) and they are unaware of the behaviour, the mimicry and the fact that the researchers may in fact be interested in something else other than the irrelevant task the participant is working on,

In sum, the type of imitation we have researched most extensively is unconscious, peripheral mimicry. A prototypical example of an experimental investigation of human unconscious mimicry is the ‘Chameleon effect’ ( Chartrand & Bargh 1999 ). In this research, participants interacted with an unknown confederate in two consecutive picture-describing sessions.

In one session, the confederate either rubbed her face or shook her foot while describing the pictures with the participants, while the second confederate performed the behaviour that the first confederate did not. The behaviour of the participants, ‘secretly’ recorded on videotape, showed that participants shook their foot more in the presence of the foot-shaking confederate, and rubbed their faces more in the presence of the face-rubbing confederate.

Debriefing indicated that participants were unaware of their mimicry.

What is an example of a social chameleon?


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Credit. The New York Times Archives See the article in its original context from March 12, 1985, Section C, Page 1 TimesMachine is an exclusive benefit for home delivery and digital subscribers. This is a digitized version of an article from The Times’s print archive, before the start of online publication in 1996.

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  3. EVERYONE wants to make a good impression, but for some people it is almost a way of life.
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Such social chameleons, who in every situation strive to make the best impression they can, do so at a psychological cost, new research suggests. Those who always try ”to be the right person in the right place at the right time,” according to Mark Snyder, a social psychologist at the University of Minnesota, become extraordinarily attuned to the ways others react to them.

They continually monitor their social performance, skillfully adjusting it when they detect that they are not having the desired effect. He cites as the psychological credo of such people a remark by W.H. Auden, who said that his private image of himself ”is very different from the image which I try to create in the minds of others in order that they may love me.” The degree to which a person subscribes to this credo, research suggests, seems to have a profound influence not only on his social successes and skills, but also on the quality of his intimate relationships.

For example, those who are most adept at making a good impression, paradoxically, tend to have less stable and satisfying intimate relationships, suffering in both the quality of their friendships and the stability of their romantic ties. On the other hand, those who tend toward the other extreme, those who do not bend at all to fit in, have problems of their own, the research suggests.

While their sense of self is far stronger than the person skilled at making impressions, they can suffer from the social costs of their rigidity. Scale Measures Traits ”Many people have different orientations in various parts of their lives,” Dr. Snyder said in an interview. ”For example, at work someone may go all out to impress people, while at home or with friends he is more himself.” About 60 percent of people tend to be less devoted to impression management, as measured by a scale Dr.

Snyder has developed, while the other 40 percent are more concerned about making an impression. Most people, he says, tend toward the middle range, their style depending on the social context of a particular situation. People on the extremes, he said, are those who adopt one or another orientation in all situations.

The social chameleons ”thrive on inconsistency,” according to William Graziano, a psychologist at the University of Michigan. ”They don’t mind in the least saying one thing and doing another. But those at the other pole can’t stand such a discrepancy.” Dr. Snyder, who has done the major research on the issue, said: ”One of the great themes of literature is the relationship between how people present themselves on the surface and what lurks beneath.

As a psychologist, I became interested in the question of where personality resides: Is it in the persona – the public face – or the private reality? As I started to do research on the question, I came to see that for some people, the public and private person meshes well, while for others there seem to be only a kaleidoscope of changing appearances.”

Identifying Social ChameleonsSocial chameleons, for whom Dr. Snyder uses the rather infelicitous term, ”high self-monitors,” display these key traits:- They pay careful attention to social cues, scrutinizing others with keenness so as to know what is expected of them before making a response.

– In order to get along and to be liked, they try to be as others expect them to be. For example, they try to make people they dislike think they are friendly with them. – They use their social abilities to mold their appearance as disparate situations demand, so that, as some put it, ”With different people I act like a very different person.” Those low on the self-monitor scale, would be unlikely to espouse ideas they do not believe, while those high in self-monitoring would do so if it were expedient.

  1. Certain professions, by their very nature, seem to draw people who are adept at impression management.
  2. ”Professional actors, as well as many of the more mercurial trial lawyers, are among the best at it,” Dr.
  3. Snyder said.
  4. ”So too are many successful salespeople, diplomats and politicians.” Such people can swing with ease from bubbly sociability to reserved withdrawal, or even from conformity to noncomformity, as the situtaion demands, Dr.

Snyder said. And while these same abilities make them skilled at lying, they are just as likely to apply them in smoothing social interactions. By contrast, those low in self-monitoring subscribe to the credo, ”To thine own self be true.” They feel it is more important to act in accord with one’s values, no matter the social consequences.

  1. Although one might expect social chameleons to get along well with just about anyone, they seem to have trouble when they are in the company of those who are at the opposite extreme.
  2. In one study, William Ickes, a psychologist at the University of Texas, paired people who scored very high and very low on the scale that measures self-monitoring.

When two people who both scored high or both scored low were paired, they got along quite well. But not mixed pairs. John Waynes and Zeligs ”The conversations just petered out,” Dr. Ickes said. ”The lows are like John Wayne, fairly taciturn and just the same no matter where they are.

  • The highs are like Woody Allen’s Zelig, madly trying to fit in with whomever they are with.
  • But the lows don’t give the highs enough cues to know how they should try to be.” The differences between the types are perhaps most striking in their personal relationships.
  • The social chameleons, for example, are much less willing to commit themselves to a romantic relationship, are more willing to end one romance to start another and are slow to become emotional intimates of those they date.

On the other hand, those low in the trait are more loyal lovers, being far more willing to become committed, slower to shift to a new partner and ready to share the growth of intimacy with their partner. The fantasy life of each type reflects the same tendencies.

  • Social chameleons, compared with their opposites, more frequently fantasize about having sexual relations with someone other than their steady partner, even having those fantasies while engaging in sex with their partner.
  • In sum, Dr.
  • Snyder writes, ”Thus, we might expect low self-monitoring individuals to display greater commitment to, and stronger attachment to, their marital partners.” Likewise, the two types differ greatly in the nature of their friendships.

The low self-monitoring type, as might be expected, tends to be extremely invested, both in time and emotion, in a few close friends. Social chameleons, on the other hand, prefer to have a wide range of friends and to have different friends for different activities.

  1. Moreover, they ”set up barriers, so it’s hard for their friends to get to know them well,” Dr.
  2. Snyder said.
  3. The social chameleons, according to Dr.
  4. Graziano, have a heterogeneous social world.
  5. ”They play tennis with one person and go antiquing with another,” he said.
  6. ”They also tend to pick friends who are highly skilled in that area: their tennis partner will be first-rate, their antiquing partner an expert.

But those low in self-monitoring play tennis with the same person with whom they go antiquing.” Perhaps understandably, social chameleons have been found by Dr. Snyder to be more responsive to advertising that appeals to one’s image, while those low in the trait respond more readily to claims of a product’s quality.

Traits Seen in Childhood The tendency for people to be one or the other type has been found in children as young as 7 years old. One of the key signs of self-monitoring is the tendency to try to find out what others think about something before making one’s own response. In a study done by Christopher Leone at the University of Minnesota, third- graders were asked their opinions on a wide range of topics, such as whether ”E.T.” or ”Star Wars” was the better movie.

Before answering they were given the chance to see how other children had responded to the same questions. Some children, presumably those who will grow up to be social chameleons, pored over the data before they would give their own answers. As far back as 1934 Helene Deutsch, a psychoanalyst, described what she called the ”as-if” personality, a person who shifted roles in life like an actor.

The ”as-if” type, she wrote, had a ”highly plastic readiness to pick up signals from the outer world” and mold himself accordingly. Dr. Deutsch saw such people as suffering from a fragile sense of themselves, constantly seeking to shore themselves up by winning the approval of others at all costs.

”The more current view is less pejorative,” according to Frank Lachmann, a psychoanalyst at the Postgraduate Center for Mental Health. ”The as-if personality is the extreme of a necessary human quality, the ability to have empathy, to put oneself in another’s shoes.” While Dr.

  • Snyder’s research does not focus on people who are at either extreme of the pattern he describes, he does acknowledge that both tendencies, when exaggerated, can indicate psychopathology.
  • The consensus among those who have done research on the topic seems to be that people are better off not being extreme in either direction.

”Those who are at the extreme in self-monitoring are sociopaths, con artists who will say and do whatever gets them what they want at the moment,” Dr. Snyder said. ”On the other hand those who are extremely low in self-monitoring are, like obsessives, utterly stubborn in their adherence to the sense of being right no matter what.

If a situation doesn’t mesh with that sense, they are totally unwilling to change to fit in. They act as they feel they should, no matter what others make of it.” Dr. Snyder does not believe that being a social chameleon or one of their opposites need make one more susceptible to psychological problems.

Nevertheless he believes it can lead to specific types of vulnerability. When those high in self-monitoring get depressed, he has found, it is more likely to have been triggered by failing at a social performance, such as trying out for a team or play and not making it.

  • Those low in the trait, however, become depressed when they feel they have violated their deepest values, such as being found a hypocrite.
  • Still, in Dr.
  • Graziano’s view, most social chameleons are not pathological.
  • Recent research, he said, has shown that, by and large, they are not Machiavellian manipulators, nor are they desparately insecure, seeking the approval of others at all costs.

On the contrary, ”It seems to be a social skill,” Dr. Graziano said. What can perhaps be most useful for everyone about the new research is the simple awareness that the two types exist. A person can realize that he is overly concerned about the impression he makes to the extent that he may virtually cease to exist as a person of substance.

Is yawning an example of the chameleon effect?

We are all impacting each other. The question is how. There are few things more adorable than a newborn baby’s delicious yawn. My new granddaughter and her family are currently staying with us and little does this tiny bundle know how much joy she brings and how many pictures are snapped, every time she simply opens wide and yawns.

  • Less adorable and dare not photographed are her mother and father’s yawns, the result of sleep deprivation and exhaustion.
  • Science has long explored the mystery of when and why we yawn.
  • It turns out we begin yawning already in the womb, beginning at around 11 weeks gestation (or the first time the mother is in shul when the rabbi speaks).

Lack of sleep and boredom are the assumed explanations, but some people also report yawning when they exercise, sing, or engage in other activities. Perhaps the most puzzling part of yawning is how and why it spreads. You may have heard, or noticed yourself, that when one person yawns it sets off a domino effect of yawning.

Researchers believes that contagious yawning is a product of the chameleon effect, the subconscious mimicry and imitation of the mannerisms, expressions and postures of those around us. They suggest it is an involuntary attempt to fit in and connect, perhaps even a display of empathy. Dr. Elisabetta Palagi of the University of Pisa, Italy, has studied the chameleon effect on facial expressions, hand movements, foot shaking, yawning and speech patterns.

Last month, she presented data that found the impact of the chameleon effect, not on an expression or movement, but on a behavior.