The predictive chameleon: Evidence for anticipated social action

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Extensive research has demonstrated that movement observation leads to an activation of a corresponding motor representation in the observer. Recent theoretical accounts have put forward the idea that such motor simulation serves an anticipatory function. In line with this assumption, the results from 2 experiments indicate that merely observing an event in someone else (e.g., nose wrinkling) triggers the anticipated action in the observer (e.g., nose scratching). Moreover, extending recent findings on ideomotor action, our second experiment suggests that this anticipated action effect is based on inferring the other person's desire to act. Thus, our research demonstrates the existence of a link between inferring another person's desire to move and the release of an action that matches this desire. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)265-268
Number of pages4
Publication statusPublished - 01.04.2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 American Psychological Association.

    Research areas

  • Action observation, Anticipation, Desire inference, Prediction
  • Business psychology