Department of Economics and Business Economics

Physiological evidence of interpersonal dynamics in a cooperative production task

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Recent research suggests that shared behavioral dynamics during interpersonal interaction are indicative of subjective and objective outcomes of the interaction, such as feelings of rapport and success of performance. The role of shared physiological dynamics to quantify interpersonal interaction, however, has received comparatively little attention. In the present study, we investigate the coordination dynamics of multiple psychophysiological measures and their utility in capturing emotional dynamics in teams. We use data from an experiment where teams of three people built origami boats together in an assembly-line manner while their heart rate, skin conductance, and facial muscle activity were recorded. Our results show that physiological synchrony of skin conductance measures and eletromyographic measures of the corrugator supercilii develops spontaneously among team members during this cooperative production task. Moreover, high team synchrony is found indicative of team cohesion, while low team synchrony is found indicative of a teams' decision to adopt a new behavior across multiple production sessions. We conclude that team-level measures of synchrony offer new and complementary information compared to measures of individual levels of physiological activity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPhysiology & Behavior
Pages (from-to)24-34
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2016

    Research areas

  • Interpersonal dynamics, Psychophysiology, synchrony, Recurrence quantification analysis

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