The "cargo cult" aspect of repeating back information reminds me of advice I used to read in "how to date" books back when I was on the dating market (and didn't really know the first thing about dating.). Those books often talked about "mirroring" behavior. Supposedly, when two people are into each other, they (sometimes? most of the time?) start to mirror each other's behavior. The books' advice tended to be: if you're into someone, you should start mirroring her behavior (I say "her" because the books I read were generally geared to straight men). On the other hand, maybe "mirroring" is a dynamic that develops from mutual attraction.