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Thursday, 09 August 2018 15:19

The European Research Council has awarded a Starting Grant to Mariska Kret: From Mimicry to Trust: A Tinbergian Approach

We make many of our everyday decisions by quickly assessing whether ‘the other’ is trustworthy. An important aspect of this assessment is the other person’s mimicry of our expressions of emotion. Mariska Kret will investigate which forms of mimicry are empathic, and hence important for our decision to trust or to distrust. A lively debate is currently ongoing within psychology about what mimicry precisely entails, and what its effects are. Kret will therefore locate it within a completely new theoretical framework, examining both biological and psychological factors in order to understand the function, mechanisms and development of mimicry. An important step will be to compare humans and the bonobo, our closest living relative among the ape species.

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