When walking alongside someone, you may feel that your legs move in synchrony with theirs. Recent studies have shown that walk-in-synch behaviour observed in natural settings occurs at a rate significantly greater than would be expected by chance, and that the amount of this synchrony is related to interpersonal impressions. However, in such natural settings, the existence of verbal conversations between paired walkers should affect the interpersonal impressions and the effect is not distinguished from the effect of walk-in-synch on the impressions so far. In the current study, we used the analysis of conversation and path analysis to discriminate these two effects (i.e., the effects of synchronization of walking and conversation on interpersonal impressions). Analysis of conversation during the walk revealed that the amount of utterance overlap and the number of turn-takings between two walkers as well as the synchronization of steps predicted their positive interpersonal impression, while synchronization of steps and these two conversational indices were not correlated with each other. We propose that interpersonal synchronization of body movements, such as synchronization of steps itself in paired walking, plays a role in fostering the development of interpersonal relationships.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)