Sandhu D S: The effects of mirroring vs. non-mirroring of clients' nonverbal behavior on empathy, trustworthiness, and positive interaction in cross-cultural counseling dyads.
Dissertation Abstracts International 45(4): 1042, 1984.
Abstract: This study examined the effects of mirroring vs. non-mirroring of selected nonverbal behaviors on empathy, trustworthiness and positive interaction. The study was based upon the assertations of NLP proponents (i.e. Bandler and Grinder, Dilts, Lankton) that rapport and trust can be established and enhanced through mirroring of clients nonverbal behaviors. This method of generating facilitative conditions was purported to have applications in all interactions, but especially in cross-cultural counseling situations, where ethnic and cultural differences hinder rapport building. 60 male Choctaw adolescents were randomly selected from a pool of 109 volunteers. A Two Groups Randomized Posttest only as research design for this study was used. In the experimental group, the movements of extremities and posture were mirrored directly, while nose rubbing, hair patting frowns, laughs, tongue and eye movements were mirrored indirectly. In the control condition, no deliberate effort was made to mirror nonverbal behaviors; on the contrary, if the counselors noticed the clients mirroring them, they immediatly assumed non-mirrored positions. Two white female counselors with similar educational experiences mirrored and non-mirrored an equal number of subjects for 10 minutes. Each dyad was standardized through a counseling protocol and was videotaped. Data were collected on three dependent variables. The revised empathy scale of Barrett-Lennard Relationship Inventory and trustworthiness dimension of the Counselor Rating Form were completed by the subjects immediately after the counseling session. Two trained independent judges with interrater observer agreement of .88 rated each vide taped dyad on Leathers Nonverbal Feedback Rating Instrument for positive interaction. One-way analysis of variance was used as a statistical procedure to test three null hypotheses. The results indicated significant mirroring effects on the empathy scale of the BLRI. No significant differences were found on the CRF or the LNFRI.