Affect as an antecedent of synchrony

This study explored whether affect could be an antecedent of synchrony (i.e., the convergence of rhythm and timing) in face-to-face conversations. Although previous studies have failed to illustrate that affective valence causes synchrony, they did not employ experimental manipulation of affective state and did not consider the affective contrast between interacting participants. In this study, two experiments were conducted on dyadic interactions with a same-sex stranger. Experiment 1 focused on affective valence, and Experiment 2 investigated the influence of affective contrast on synchrony. Participants engaged in a 6-min chat. Positive or negative affect was separately induced using a video (Experiment 1) or an affective picture set (Experiment 2) before conversation to stimulate each two conditions: positive versus negative affective state (Experiment 1) or low versus high contrast in affective state (Experiment 2). Synchrony was evaluated using wavelet transform, via calculation of the cross-wavelet coherence (WTC) and relative phasing pattern (i.e., in-phase and anti-phase), as well as cross-correlation. Results showed that cross-WTC and proportion of in-phase patterning were not influenced by affective valence (Experiments 1 and 2); however, they were higher in the low-contrast condition compared with the high-contrast condition (Experiment 2). Cross-correlation, on the contrary, could not find a significant difference in Experiments 1 and 2. These results were discussed from the perspective of cognitive and motivational processes.


About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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