Power moves: Complementarity in dominant and submissive nonverbal behavior.
Tiedens, Larissa Z.; Fragale, Alison R.
Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol 84(3), Mar 2003, 558-568.
Two studies examine complementarity (vs. mimicry) of dominant and submissive nonverbal behaviors. In the first study, participants interacted with a confederate who displayed either dominance (through postural expansion) or submission (through postural constriction). On average, participants exposed to a dominant confederate decreased their postural stance, whereas participants exposed to a submissive confederate increased their stance. Further, participants with complementing responses (dominance in response to submission and submission in response to dominance) liked their partner more and were more comfortable than those who mimicked. In the second study, complementarity and mimicry were manipulated, and complementarity resulted in more liking and comfort than mimicry. The findings speak to the likelihood of hierarchical differentiation (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)