Want to improve your odds of winning a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors? Then wear a blindfold! That’s the takeaway of a new British study, which explored how people tend to mimic each other in involuntary ways. In the study, researchers had volunteers pair off in games of Rock, Paper, Scissors. As it turned out, when both players were blindfolded and couldn’t see each other’s body movements, the odds of them flashing the same hand gesture were the lowest, but when just one player was blindfolded, the odds of there being a tie were higher.
Why’s that significant? Lead researcher Richard Cook says whether we’re aware of it or not, the instinct to mimic other people by looking for subtle body language cues is very strong. It’s essential for our survival! Think about it: Children learn by copying their parents. As we grow older, we learn to “fit in” by imitating language, dress codes, and other actions because it helps us make friends, find jobs and find mates. Or it can keep us from losing a simple game of Rock, Paper, Scissors.