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Article Dans Une Revue British Journal of Psychology Année : 2019

Influence of perceived emotion and gender on social motor coordination

Zhong Zhao
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Robin Salesse
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Ludovic Marin
Mathieu Gueugnon
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Benoit Bardy


Theorists have long postulated that facial properties such as emotion and sex are potent social stimuli that influence how individuals act. Yet extant scientific findings were mainly derived from investigations on the prompt motor response upon the presentation of affective stimuli, which were mostly delivered by means of pictures, videos, or text. A theoretical question remains unaddressed concerning how the perception of emotion and sex would modulate the dynamics of a continuous coordinated behaviour. Conceived in the framework of dynamical approach to interpersonal motor coordination, the present study aimed to address this question by adopting the coupled‐oscillators paradigm. Twenty‐one participants performed in‐phase and anti‐phase coordination with two avatars (male and female) displaying three emotional expressions (neutral, happy, and angry) at different frequencies (100% and 150% of the participant's preferred frequency) by executing horizontal rhythmic left‐right oscillatory movements. Time to initiate movement (TIM), mean relative phase error (MnRP), and standard deviation of relative phase (SDRP) were calculated as indices of reaction time, deviation from the intended pattern of coordination, and coordination stability, respectively. Results showed that in anti‐phase condition at 150% frequency, MnRP was lower with the angry and the female avatar. In addition, coordination was found to be more stable with the male avatar than the female one when both displaying neutral emotion. But the happy female avatar was found to elicit more stable coordination than the neutral female avatar. These results implied that individuals are more relaxed to coordinate with the female than the male, and the sensorimotor system becomes more flexible to coordinate with an angry person. It is also suggested social roles influence how people coordinate, and individuals attend more to interact with a happy female. In sum, the present study evidenced that social perception is embodied in the interactive behaviour during social interaction.
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Dates et versions

hal-02440460 , version 1 (15-01-2020)



Zhong Zhao, Robin Salesse, Xingda Qu, Ludovic Marin, Mathieu Gueugnon, et al.. Influence of perceived emotion and gender on social motor coordination. British Journal of Psychology, 2019, 110 (3), pp.1-20. ⟨10.1111/bjop.12419⟩. ⟨hal-02440460⟩
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