Accepted for presentation at the International Symposium on Performance Science (ISPS), Vienna (Austria), 28-31 August 2013
Stepping Together to Music Affects Men and Women Differently: Mode and Tempo Effects on Person Perception in a Synchronization Task
Fabia Franco & Stanislava Angelova
Department of Psychology, Middlesex University, UK
Keeping together in time (e.g. dance, military drill) has been described as crucial in human social evolution (McNeil, 1995). Recently, Macrae et al. (2008) showed enhanced cognitive performance in participants synchronising their hand-waving for 60 seconds. Furthermore, Valdesolo & Desteno (2010) found that entrainment facilitated altruism towards a synchronous partner. In both studies the participants synchronized to a fairly fast metronome, and both found higher partner likeability in synchronous than non-synchronous conditions. When considering music, tempo is a variable implicated in the identification of affect in music (besides mode). For example, Dalla Bella et al. (2001) differentiated ‘happy’ and ‘sad’ music as characterized, respectively, by fast tempo-major mode, and slow tempo-minor mode. Aiming to bring this area of study into a more ecologically valid and controlled framework, we investigated the effect of tempo and mode on person perception, prosocial attitude and recall when participants synchronised motor behaviour to music rather than metronome.
Participants: 128 (50% female) tested in London (UK) from various ethnic and cultural backgrounds, none proficient active musicians.
Design: 2x2x2 independent factors (gender, tempo and mode). Dependent measures were synchronized partner likeability and similarity scores (both on a 1-7 scale), number of words recalled (incidental memory) and prosocial attitude towards synchronized partner (1-7 scale). Based on the 2x2 combination of mode (major, minor) by tempo (fast, slow), participants were randomly allocated to one of four conditions (e.g., MJ-FAST, major mode-fast tempo).
Procedure: Participants were asked to step to the musical beat with a female researcher by moving to each side of their initial position, for the duration of the musical track (1 min ~). During the task, the researcher pronounced 20 common words. Subsequently, participants were asked  to list the words spoken by the researcher if they could remember any, and to rate  how much they liked the researcher,  how similar to the researcher they felt, and  how likely they were to help the researcher on her next, very time consuming experiment (all on a 1-7 scale).
ANOVAs revealed a significant gender x mode x tempo interaction for Likeability of the synchronized partner (F1,120 = 7.5, p = .007), showing that her likeability was differently affected by musical mode and tempo in women and men. Separate gender follow-up analyses yielded a significant mode x tempo interaction for women, who liked the researcher most with major/slow or minor/fast music and least when it was minor/slow (F1,60 = 5.26, p =.025). Male participants presented two independent effects of mode (F1,60 = 4.64, p = .035), and tempo (F1,60 = 4.62, p = .036), as they liked the researcher best, respectively, with major mode and slow tempo.
Musical variables such as mode and tempo, which are associated with the perception of affect in music, are relevant for person perception in a synchronised motor response task. Significant gender effects found in this study instigate revision of previous findings and consideration of evolutionary questions.
25th APS Annual Convention, Washington, D.C. (USA) 23-26 May 2013 - Accepted for presentation as part of one of the themes of the conference: "Regulating the mind/regulating the world".
Atypical World/Mind Regulation: Dual-sensory Impaired Children Use Multisensory Means for Joint Attention
Nunez, M. (Glasgow Caledonian),
Franco, F. (Middlesex),
& Leekam, S. (Cardiff)
Joint Attention (JA) is a developmental milestone in human communication that typically appears around the end of the first year of life. Through JA children show evidence of coordinated regulation of their own attention and the attention of others to communicate something about the world. Communication in JA serves as a platform for cultural learning, language acquisition and the intentional understanding of the internal world. Most research on JA communication has focused on the visual modality. The study presented here is part of a larger project that looks at the use of alternative sensory modalities in the early communication of deafblind children. Fifteen congenitally deafblind children were recruited from England, Scotland and Wales. In an infant laboratory setting, parent/child dyads were observed free-playing for 15 minutes with sensory-adapted toys. A third of the children showed JA behaviours using differentiated multisensory means to communicate with their parent. These findings indicate that different levels of JA can be achieved through atypical sensory channels in order to fulfill typical communication functions. Atypical sensory trajectories to JA can fulfill typical functionality in regulating other's attention and intentions, and communicate about the world.
Acknowledgments: Funding and support for the research was provided to Nunez, Franco & Leekam by SENSE (UK).