Western Undergraduate Psychology Journal

Article Title

The Effect of Mimicry and In-Group Effect on Helping Behaviour


Many variables have an impact on our willingness to act helpfully and prosocially towards others. Extant research has shown that being mimicked increases helping behaviour towards the mimicker and others. Viewing someone as part of one’s in-group also appears to increase helping behaviour towards that person. However, the effects of mimicry and belonging to the in-group have not been measured together in regards to how they impact helping behaviour. An experiment to measure mimicry and the in-group effect is proposed with the intention of elucidating whether there is an interaction between the two factors. The mimicry condition will be examined by having the experimenter mimic the participant, a method that has been reliable in previous studies. The in-group perception will be examined by having the experimenter say they attended the same institution and enjoyed a course the participant enjoyed. Conversely, the experimenter will say they attended a rival institution and disliked a course the participant enjoyed to create an out-group perception. Helping behaviour will be measured by having the experimenter ask the participant to opt into an optional questionnaire after the experiment. If the participants did choose to complete the questionnaire, this would indicate helping behaviour. The findings of this experiment will help to refine theories of helping behaviour that have been previously proposed in the literature.

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