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Spontaneous adaptation explains why people act faster when being imitated

Lelonkiewicz, Jaroslaw R. and Gambi, Chiara ORCID: 2017. Spontaneous adaptation explains why people act faster when being imitated. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 24 (3) , pp. 842-848. 10.3758/s13423-016-1141-3

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The human ability to perform joint actions is often attributed to high-level cognitive processes. For example, the finding that action leaders act faster when imitated by their partners has been interpreted as evidence for anticipation of the other’s actions (Pfister, Dignath, Hommel, & Kunde, 2013). In two experiments, we showed that a low-level mechanism can account for this finding. Action leaders were faster when imitated than when counterimitated, but only if they could observe their partner’s actions (Exp. 1). Crucially, when due to our manipulation the partner’s imitative actions became slower than the counterimitative actions, leaders also became slower when they were imitated, and faster when counterimitated (Exp. 2). Our results suggest that spontaneous temporal adaptation is a key mechanism in joint action tasks. We argue for a reconsideration of other phenomena that have traditionally been attributed solely to high-level processes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Publisher: Springer Verlag (Germany)
ISSN: 1069-9384
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 November 2017
Last Modified: 05 May 2023 23:55

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