Week 2 First Impression Post

Something that has always made me think about human nature and our behavior is; why do people mimic each other when in conversation? Sometimes it can be as subtle as crossing both of your arms to as big as scratching your head after they do or adjusting eyewear after them. This can be tricky to catch because, for the most part, it is a subconscious behavior, so the person might not be aware they are mimicking another.

Research Question: Why do humans mirror other’s actions during conversation?

Hypothesis: Humans mirror others behavior and actions in conversation because when humans were still evolving and adapting, they created a subconscious mimicking mechanism as a way to either protect themselves or to show other’s they were safe.

Research Procedure:

  1. First I would just ask about 20 students to volunteer to just have a conversation with another person (probably a psych student)
  2. The students will talk while the researcher slowly mimics half of their behavior, tone, body language, etc. until almost every action is mimicked and with the other half do nothing while talking.
    1. note: the volunteer should not be aware the other person’s role (mimicking). They are simply two people having a conversation, don’t want them to be self-conscious of their body language and actions. You want it to be natural.
  3. Hopefully, after 15-20 minutes of talking, the volunteer will be copying the behavior of the researcher, since they have subconsciously been mimicked the whole time.
  4. Ask each volunteer to rate how connected they feel with the interviewer. Hopefully the mimicked conversations will feel more connected than the ones without mimicking.

Use this as a comparison of natural behavior and mimicking with some priming/help from the researcher.

  1. Have two volunteers sit down and start talking, you can give them starter questions to talk about various topics (start with lighter stuff then lead to serious/darker questions)
  2. Observe the partner conversations of about 5-10 pairings and then compare their behaviors of during the conversations with that of the original conversation between the interviewer and the volunteer.

You will be able to see when the most people mimicked each other (during beginning, middle, end, more serious, lighter topics, etc.)

If someone repeats your bodily actions in a subtle way, it is most likely they are no harm to you and can relate to your feelings and emotions in that time frame. If two people do or act the same, then they can assume that person is not a threat or danger since they are like-minded to some capacity. This can still be seen today in a different capacity, not in a evolutionary way. During infancy, an infant will mimic the facial expressions or verbal cues given by their primary caregiver(s). Babies begin to mimic the individuals around them to establish deep connections and to start working their fine/gross motor skills, and in particular, their bodily functions and basic movements (i.e. waving, clapping, hug, kiss, etc.). This ability to mimic another person’s actions allows the infant to establish a sense of empathy and thus begin to understand basic emotions such as happiness, fright, discomfort, and compassion. The infant continues to establish connections with other individual’s emotions and subsequently mirror their movements as well.

Mirroring can is defined as the behavior in which one person subconsciously imitates the gesture, speech pattern, or attitudes of another person. Mirroring most often occurs in social situations, particularly in the company of close friends or family. The concept often affects other individuals’ notions about the individual that is exhibiting mirroring behaviors, which can lead to the individual building rapport with others. Too much mirroring should be considered dangerous and the individual needs checked for behavioral or a cognitive function problem.

Mirroring is the subconscious replication of another person’s nonverbal signals. This concept takes place in everyday interactions, and often goes unnoticed by both the person enacting the mirroring behaviors as well as the individual who is being mirrored. The activation of mirror neurons takes place within the individual who begins to mirror another’s movements, and allows them a greater connection and understanding with the individual who they are mirroring, as well as allowing the individual who is being mirrored to feel a stronger connection with the other individual. Mirroring is distinct from conscious imitation under the premise that while the latter is a conscious, typically overt effort to copy another person, mirroring is subconsciously done during the act and often goes unnoticed.

Mirroring can establish rapport with the individual who is being mirrored, as the similarities in nonverbal gestures allow the individual to feel more connected with the person exhibiting the mirrored behavior. As the two individuals in the situation display similar nonverbal gestures, they may believe that they share similar attitudes and ideas as well. Mirror neurons react to and cause these movements, allowing the individuals to feel a greater sense of engagement and belonging within the situation.

Does Hypertrophy Make you more Attractive?

My research study will be on Does Hyperthrophy Make you more Attractive? I believe hypertrophy or making gains makes you more appealing to the people of todays society. I will start off by gathering 10 females and 10 males. Next,  take pictures of them before the hypertrophy stage for the before picture. After my participants worked out for three months on a basis of five times per week I will take pictures of the results for their after pictures. Finally,  I will go around the city with all the participants before and after pictures and see which one the people think looks more attractive; the before or after.  I will do the three times in total to get accurate results. The experiment will take roughly nine months to complete and in the end my question will be answered, Does Hypertrophy make you more Attractive?

Is Yawning Contagious? The MythBusters Seem To Think So.

As the name may suggest, the MythBusters are a group of people who perform a variety of televised experiments to prove whether widely known statements are true from a scientific viewpoint, or whether they are not. In an episode that I have just recently watched, the MythBusters were testing whether yawning is contagious or not.

To test this theory, the MythBusters created a pop-up structure in public that consisted of three identical rooms. As the test subjects, who believed that they would be waiting for an audition, were ushered in their rooms, one of the MythBusters would yawn in front of two of them, and then shut the door. The third test subject would not be yawned in front of, as he or she would be considered the control. They did this for fifty different people and recorded their results.

From this experiment the MythBusters concluded that yawning is contagious, as there was a four percent difference in yawning that happened between those that received the stimulus and those that did not. However, I would like to disagree. I believe that there were many confounding variables that influenced the MythBusters’ experiment.

This is not to say that the MythBusters did not have many strongpoints in their experiment. Their sample size was large, which lowers the chances of bias. They isolated each of the test subjects, meaning that one subject could not influence another subject in any way. They did not inform the test subjects about the experiment being performed, therefore the subjects were not thinking about yawning and influencing the experiment in that retrospect. And the MythBusters had a control in which they could compare the results of the other two subjects with.

Nevertheless, there seemed to be some confounding variables that the MythBusters did not take into account. The two most notable for me were that each of the subjects may have had a differing amount of sleep the night before, as well as that each of the subjects may have been having a reaction to the room, and not to the MythBuster yawning.

The amount of sleep each of the subjects had the night before can be considered a confounding variable as the less sleep one subject got, the more prone to yawning they are likely to be. In order to eliminate this variable, the MythBusters should have either recorded an average amount of sleep that each person got the night before to reference later, or split up each of the subjects in to categories based on their hours of sleep.

As well, the issue of the color and décor of the room could be a confounding variable. Different colors and amounts of space are known to influence the brain and its attentiveness. A plain white room may have caused many of the subjects to become bored or tired, which would explain why they eventually yawned while waiting. To correct this confounding variable, I would suggest that the MythBusters have rooms set up with different colors and decorations, and then some that have nothing at all, in order to compare the amount of yawns that happen in each.

I would be very interested to see the results of the MythBusters’ experiment if they took my suggestions into account. I feel as though they would come to a very different conclusion than the one they did during their test.

Impression post #1

This being my first impression post, I’m not quit sure what to write about. Being in the first few classes of psychology has taught me a little more than what I already know. One of the most important things that I learned so far is how important cognitive psychology is. It focuses on all of the major important things that go on within the human mind. Such as how people process information, develop language, and solve problems by thinking it out in their mind. All of these things are involved in our lives every day, but not everyone thinks the same or has the same biological perspective. Why are some people more moody than others ? or why do some people get very mad and angry at small things, but others don’t seem to mind. Everyone has different behavioral genetics. But one of the big questions I have is are behavioral genetics actually inherited ? or are they the reflections of our parents and growing up watching them our whole lives. These are questions that I ask when I look or talk to some one who is angry or has mood issues or is just rude in general. One of the first things that I think of is what kind of parents or siblings does this person have ? If they are very personable and friendly I assume they come from a good family with parents that are caring. On the other hand, If I talk to someone or run into someone that is rude or not very polite, I automatically assume that they come from a family where they were neglected, their parents split up, had a bad childhood, etc. That is my opinion on behavior issues and why people are more angry then others.

First Impression Week 2

Research design is very important. Without research design, the process could be unorganized, which could ultimately result in confusion. I think what makes a successful experiment is organization. Someone should be able duplicate the researchers steps and get a similar outcome. To have a successful research design for an experiment, it should be well thought out, if not, there could be too many variables.  If I were to do a research experiment it would involve human behavior when people are hungry. I have noticed (from personal experiences) that when people go to the grocery store hungry, their eyes get bigger than their stomachs. They seem to buy more food than they actually need. In my opinion, food looks so much more appealing when I haven’t eaten in a while. I believe that hunger has any effect on how much money people spend at the grocery store. If one goes to the grocery store on an empty stomach, then they are more likely to buy more items than a shopper that has just eaten. To test this hypothesis, I would have two groups of people, one would be fed before they go to the grocery store and the other would be deprived of food several hours prior to them going to the grocery store. The subjects are free to buy whatever they want. Once they are done shopping I will analyze their receipts. I will compare the receipts of the group that just ate to the receipts of the group that has been deprived of food. I will conduct this experiment three times to make sure my data is more accurate than just conducting the experiment once. I will be analyzing two things, how much money they spend, and how many items they have purchased.

Week 2: First Impression Research Study (Option 1)

I selected Option 1 for Week 2’s post, since I liked the idea of developing my own study as opposed to commenting on another.

Research Question: How does the color of a paper exam affect the test-taker’s performance?

Hypothesis: I believe that cool-tone colors of paper like blue or green will result in better test performance. Knowing that red and orange are more stimulating colors that evoke emotion, I think that blue or green paper would lower the stress levels about the test for the students taking the exam, whereas a warm color would intensify any nervous feelings.

Procedure: For this study, I would have a group of students of the same year and rounded GPA listen to a simple lecture and take an exam, some with a different color paper than another. I would likely recruit participants easiest by offering them food. While the students finish the test, I will mark down their finishing time as well for further data.

Difficulties: Some difficult things to control here will be the differences in learning styles in all the participants, regardless of their GPA. There could be learning disabilities to account for as well, and the mental condition of each student at the time. Some students may be tired from other classes, or may be thinking about upcoming classes as well, so it would be best to perform the test after final exams.

“Is Yawning Contagious?”

“Is Yawning Contagious?”

For my week 2 First Impression blog post, I chose to dive into the Mythbusters MiniMyth, “Is Yawning Contagious?” and post on my blog the strengths and weaknesses of the methods used in the episode.


  • large sample size
  • dependent and independent variables
  • followed the scientific method
  • had a well constructed hypothesis


  • Initiating the yawning
    • I think that the way the Mythbusters began the experiment was not a strong start. From what the viewer saw in the video, the woman who started the yawning was not clearly seen by all of the people in the sample size. She was shown yawning while the test subjects were not looking, or while she was closing the door while the subject had their back facing her.
  • Separating participants
    • I personally think that the hypothesis that yawning is in fact contagious would have been more accurately approved if the subjects were in the room in small groups to see if they would influence each other to yawn, almost like a domino effect.
  • No research prior to exeriment
    • The Mythbusters gave a brief lesson on why and what happens when a person yawns, and even though it is a short MiniMyth, I think it would have been more accurate if they had also included some of their research on this topic before conducting the experiment.


Week 2 First Impression

“Is Yawning Contagious?”

Lynsey Wissler


  • having a control
  • having someone start the yawning
  • constant observation
  • cameras in every room
  • tested a large sample (50 people)
  • identified questions
  • developed hypothesis
  • analyzed and collected data
  • dependent and independent variable


  • having someone start the yawning
    • this could be a problem because they didn’t initiate the yawn on themselves. WHen the myth buster put the participants into the room, yawning was almost like cheating. To resolve this they could have not yawned every time they put someone in the room.
  • only observational, not scientific evidence
    • they did not have any scientific evidence that the yawning was contagious. The only evidence they had was from their observations leaving a wide range of other possibilities for outcomes. They could have researched more on the topic.
  • not thinking of cofounding variables
    • There could have been variables outside of the experiment that was impacting the yawning and the effects they had on each other. They did not consider these and if they would have they could have tried to eliminate them.
  • did not review the literature
    • They did not research before the experiment to see the literature that goes along with it. This could have helped build a stronger experiment.


First Impression Post #1

For my 1st First Impression Post, I chose to watch one of the Mythbusters videos then give my response to it. The video was titled “Shockwave Jam” and answers the question of “Does weaving through traffic actually get you to your destination faster?”

While watching the video I noticed several strengths of the experiment such as leaving at the same time of day so they would be driving through the same amount of traffic. Also both of the drivers were just regular people, with equal driving experience.

After watching the video I looked at their experiment set up and noticed a few weaknesses. The speed of the cars in the lane is always changing and the lane that he couldn’t change out of may have been faster or slower than the lanes the other car was weaving in and out of. The car in that couldn’t change lanes could be stuck behind a really slow driver one day and not the next. Also, it doesn’t account of other crazy drivers on the road, if weaving in and out of the lanes is worth risking your life. This could be fixed by setting limits on how fast each of the cars can drive.

Study Hard: Week 2 First Impression Blog

If I were to conduct a psychological study, my experiment would test the question “Does listening to music while studying allow a person to remember more of the material?”.My hypothesis is a significant difference will occur in how much information is remembered when listening to music while studying a subject. I believe there would be an increase of information able to be retained if one listens to music while studying. The brain would be able to connect what someone was studying while listening to a certain song or style of music.

For my procedure I would use ten participants; this would not include ten more people as the control who studies without music playing. All participants would be given the same material to study from for a small mini quiz on a particular subject. There would be allowed times to study over the course of a few days and the participants are able to listen to their music of choice. While the participants are taking the mini quiz, the same music or songs will be playing in order to see if it can jog their memories to remember the material. The participants would either be separated to not mix music or each individual listens to their music through headphones. These grades will then be compared to the control group who studied and took the quiz without music.