Every kid has his or her own strategy for prevailing in rock, paper, scissors. But despite their best efforts, contenders for the crown may unconsciously mimic their sibling or chum's hand movements , forcing draw after draw, researchers report online today in Proceeding of the Royal Society B. The team organized roshambo matches in which either one or both of the competitors wore blindfolds. Draws, such as rock versus rock, became a lot more common when one of the participants could see. These players seemed to be unconsciously mimicking their rivals' subtle hand gestures like uncurling the index finger to make the shape of a scissors. Scientists have seen similar imitation—people often tap their feet along to a beat when someone else is—before but couldn't tell if it was voluntary or not. In this case, the aping must be involuntary, researchers say, since players wanted to win, not tie. Of course, as any bickering siblings could attest, heat-seeking missile beats everything.
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