Group walking

Published: 17 July 2023| Version 1 | DOI: 10.17632/4kkfffmtk5.1
Merle Fairhurst


Coordinating our actions with others changes how we behave and feel. Here we provide evidence that interacting with others rests on a balance between self-other integration and segregation. Using a group walking paradigm, participants were instructed to synchronise with a metronome while listening to the sounds of 8 virtual partners. By manipulating the similarity and synchronicity of the partners' steps to the participant's own, our novel auditory task disentangles the effects of synchrony and self-other similarity and examines their contribution to both collective and individual awareness. We measured temporal coordination (step timing regularity and synchrony with the metronome), gait patterns, and subjective reports about sense of self and group cohesion. The main findings show that coordination is best when participants hear distinct but synchronous virtual others, leading to greater subjective feelings of agency, strength, dominance, and happiness. Data for objective coordination measures, gait and subjective ratings are included here.



Sensory-Motor Control, Interpersonal Interaction, Personal Agency