Do we like people more if they move the way we do?
Yes. People who move in sync with us seem more similar and that makes us feel closer to them:
Although evidence has suggested that synchronized movement can foster cooperation, the ability of synchrony to increase costly altruism and to operate as a function of emotional mechanisms remains unexplored. We predicted that synchrony, due to an ability to elicit low-level appraisals of similarity, would enhance a basic compassionate response toward victims of moral transgressions and thereby increase subsequent costly helping behavior on their behalf. Using a manipulation of rhythmic synchrony, we show that synchronous others are not only perceived to be more similar to oneself but also evoke more compassion and altruistic behavior than asynchronous others experiencing the same plight. These findings both support the view that a primary function of synchrony is to mark others as similar to the self and provide the first empirical demonstration that synchrony-induced affiliation modulates emotional responding and altruism.
Source: “Synchrony and the social tuning of compassion.” from Emotion, Volume: 11, Issue: 2, Pages: 262-266
This study is by DeSteno and Valdesolo, authors of Out of Character: Surprising Truths About the Liar, Cheat, Sinner (and Saint) Lurking in All of Us.
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