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Title: Moving in time with others : exploring interpersonal synchrony
Author: Lumsden, Joanne
ISNI:       0000 0004 2737 5099
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2012
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The temporal coordination of interpersonal behaviour is a foundation for effective joint action, and research reveals that it occurs spontaneously during social interactions. Moreover, synchronous movement has been evidenced to be associated with core aspects of social exchange and person perception (reviewed in Chapter 1). However, synchronisation is not unique to humans, and the emergence of coordination across a variety of domains (e.g., in nature, mechanics, intrapersonal coordination) has been demonstrated to follow similar patterns. The aim of the current work was to explore potential influences on the degree of rhythmic movement synchrony between interaction partners by incorporating methods and theory from both the social psychological and coordination dynamics literatures. Over the course of six studies, several social influences on the emergence and perception of interpersonal synchrony were identified. The degree to which individuals coordinate with the movement rhythms of an interaction partner was found to be shaped by their partner’s social identity (Chapter 2), the individual’s own social motives (Chapter 3), and also their sex (Chapter 4). Therefore, the coordination dynamics governing synchrony were shown to be affected by social factors. In a separate but related thread of research, it was revealed that third-party perceptions of physically synchronous interactions are also influenced by socially relevant information (Chapter 5). Thus, it appears that social forces modulate the degree of synchronisation between interaction partners, and also outsider perceptions of rhythmic movements. The results are discussed in terms of their theoretical and methodological implications, as well as the overall contribution they make to the extant literature (Chapter 6). From an overarching theoretical standpoint, it is suggested that the findings should be viewed from a dynamical systems perspective as, in contrast to alternative theories (e.g., the mirror-neurons theory), this account can more fully explain the phenomena of synchrony and the patterns which emerge.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Interpersonal relations ; Interpersonal communication ; Cognition