Note: The original video has since been removed by CBS (referenced in the images below) - the replacement video (above) does however include some of the nonverbal mirroring behavior exhibited by this affectionate grandson-grandfather bond.
This is an adorable story of Phillip Martelli and his grandfather. Phil Martelli is the men's basketball coach at St. Joseph College near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The St. Joseph Hawks are in this year's NCAA Basketball Tournament (aka March Madness) and will play the University of Connecticut on 20 March.
Young grandson Phillip accompanies and mirrors his grandfather's behavior. Human beings will naturally mirror another person they love, like or admire in some way. This is a built-in rapport building mechanism with which we are born.
Occasionally a person will deliberately (consciously) mirror in an effort to gain influence such as in a sales or negotiation scenario. When this is done, great care must be used not to mirror too exactly in space or time - lest the other person recognize the nonverbals; in such circumstances it will backfire and thus destroy rapport.
Although obviously not the case here, when two people fall in love, they will mirror each other's body language in addition to their word choice and paralanguage qualities. Thus in most contexts (all but when it is consciously and deliberately "acted"), mirroring is a signal of both high sincerity and high empathy.
Most sociopaths become fairly adept at mirroring - however they're not perfect. If one knows what to look for - their lack of sincerity and choreographed behavior can be spotted. Those with autism are deficient in their natural ability to mirror.
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