This article examines how performance in intercultural workplace interactions can be compromised even in the absence of overt prejudice. The authors show that individuals respond differently to nonverbal behavioral mirroring cues exhibited in workplace interactions, depending on their cultural group membership. In a field study with experienced managers, U.S. Anglos and U.S. Latinos interacted with a confederate who, unbeknownst to the participant, engaged (or not) in behavioral mirroring. Results show that the level of the confederate's mirroring differentially affected Latinos' state anxiety, but not Anglos' state anxiety, as well as actual performance in the interaction. Two additional laboratory experiments provide further evidence of the interactive relationship of behavioral mirroring and cultural group membership on evaluations of workplace interactions. Implications for intercultural interactions and research are discussed.
- behavioral mirroring
- individual performance
- protestant relational ideology
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Applied Psychology