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DFG Research Unit FOR 2150 | Relativity in Social Cognition

The Influence of Comparison Processes on Movement and Effector Compatibility Effects

Oliver GenschowJan CrusiusMareike Westfal

The present project investigates how comparative processes influence social interactions. Specifically, we test how individuals map their own actions onto others by testing the prediction that focusing on similarities, as compared to dissimilarities, increases effects of movement and effector compatibility effects. Past research has shown that observing another person performing an action facilitates the execution of that action—also known as imitation. By using stimulus–response congruency tasks, cognitive psychologists test the mechanisms of such phenomena by investigating two important underlying components—that is movement and effector compatibility. We propose that merely focusing on similarities between oneself and another person increases effects of movement and effector compatibility. We test this prediction by rigorously investigating the underlying mechanisms, possible alternative explanations, and its generalizability. Investigating the influence of social comparisons on movement and effector compatibility effects may allow to uncover a causal process that can potentially elucidate the open question of how comparison processes are linked to actual social interactions. Furthermore, the project will offer a new perspective on the process of movement and effector compatibility by putting forward a model that allows integrating different moderators into a common framework.

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Jun.-Prof. Dr. Oliver Genschow
PI | Imitation

Universität zu Köln

Sozialpsychologie: Social Cognition
Richard-Strauss-Str. 2
50931 Köln | GERMANY

Telephone +49-221-470-1524
Fax +49-221-470-1216
E-mail oliver.genschow(at)