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Verbal Synchrony and Action Dynamics in Large Groups

von Zimmermann, J; Richardson, DC; (2016) Verbal Synchrony and Action Dynamics in Large Groups. FRONTIERS IN PSYCHOLOGY , 7 , Article 2034. 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02034. Green open access

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Abstract

While synchronized movement has been shown to increase liking and feelings of togetherness between people, we investigated whether collective speaking in time would change the way that larger groups played a video game together. Anthropologists have speculated that the function of interpersonal coordination in dance, chants, and singing is not just to produce warm, affiliative feelings, but also to improve group action. The group that chants and dances together hunts well together. Direct evidence for this is sparse, as research so far has mainly studied pairs, the effects of coordinated physical movement, and measured cooperation and affiliative decisions. In our experiment, large groups of people were given response handsets to play a computer game together, in which only joint coordinative efforts lead to success. Before playing, the synchrony of their verbal behavior was manipulated. After the game, we measured group members’ affiliation toward their group, their performance on a memory task, and the way in which they played the group action task. We found that verbal synchrony in large groups produced affiliation, enhanced memory performance, and increased group members’ coordinative efforts. Our evidence suggests that the effects of synchrony are stable across modalities, can be generalized to larger groups and have consequences for action coordination.

Type: Article
Title: Verbal Synchrony and Action Dynamics in Large Groups
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02034
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.02034
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2016 von Zimmermann and Richardson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Keywords: synchrony, behavioral coordination, affiliation, joint action, cooperation
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Brain Sciences > Div of Psychology and Lang Sciences > Experimental Psychology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1536673
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