Movement unlocks insights about cognition and human behavior.
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The Oscars

 

The Oscars

Can movement affect how sarcastic we are to each other?

 
 
Two models demonstrating the synchronous movement activity.  This activity lasted five minutes.

Two models demonstrating the synchronous movement activity.  This activity lasted five minutes.

Rationale

Synchronous movement- movement that overlaps in time between two or more people- has extensive prosocial benefits, such as increased empathy and positive feelings.  We wanted to know if this type of movement could also change communicative behaviors, so we designed a movement activity hoping to see people use more sarcasm, a socially risky linguistic device.


Project

Each set of participants engaged in a movement activity, facing each other and synchronizing or back-to-back, not synchronizing. Participants then had a 10-minute conversation with their partner, then individually identified where sarcasm occurred in the conversation.

Results showed that people who engaged in synchronous movement used more sarcasm than people who engaged in the asynchronous movement activity. 
 

Participants had at 10 minute conversation about badly dressed celebrities.

Participants had at 10 minute conversation about badly dressed celebrities.


This work would not have been possible without my collaborators, Trevor D'Arcey, Alina Larson, and Jean E. Fox tree.