Facial reconstruction

Search LJMU Research Online

Browse Repository | Browse E-Theses

Does the threat of COVID-19 modulate automatic imitation?

Roberts, JW and Bennett, SJ (2023) Does the threat of COVID-19 modulate automatic imitation? PLoS One, 18 (4).

journal.pone.0284936.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (745kB) | Preview
Open Access URL: https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0284936 (Published version)


The tendency to involuntarily imitate the actions of others (automatic imitation) can be modulated by social affiliative cues. Here, we explored whether the disruption to our social lives caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may subsequently influence automatic imitation. Three groups were initially presented a sentence comprehension task that featured either neutral (control), safe or unsafe primes to COVID-19 infection. They then completed an automatic imitation task, where a numeric cue was presented alongside apparent motion of an index or middle finger, which was either compatible or incompatible with the required response. Reaction times were longer for the incompatible compared to compatible trials, and thus demonstrated automatic imitation. However, there was no influence of the primes indicating that automatic imitation was unaffected by the risk of COVID-19. The potential theoretical explanations and practical implications of pathogen avoidance and social bonding incentives are discussed with reference to pandemic events.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: General Science & Technology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Q Science > Q Science (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Divisions: Sport & Exercise Sciences
Publisher: Public Library of Science (PLoS)
SWORD Depositor: A Symplectic
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2023 10:03
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2023 10:03
DOI or ID number: 10.1371/journal.pone.0284936
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19413
View Item View Item