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BY 4.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter Open Access August 23, 2021

Moving From Me to We: Interpersonal Coordination’s Effects on Self-Construal

Liam Cross, Liam Whiteman, Sarah Ward and Gray Atherton
From the journal Open Psychology


We all move in time together throughout our lives, and doing so has been shown to lead to more pro-social attitudes and behaviors towards co-actors. However, little research has investigated how coordinated movement affects how individuals feel about themselves. This mixed-methods study took self-generated qualitative responses of how participants construed their own identities after either coordinated movement or a carefully matched control task. Responses were analysed qualitatively using thematic analyses, and quantitatively using content analysis. Four themes were identified from thematic analysis, and inferential statistical testing showed significant differences in how participants construed their identities post coordination (cf. control). Participants in the coordinated condition generated a higher proportion of interdependent (social) rather than independent (personal) self-construals, driven by differences in broad social structures/constructs rather than close specific social relations. Furthermore, participants in the coordinated condition reported less mental state items, and more sexual/romantic items. These findings may explain how and why coordinated movement leads to prosociality amongst those who take part, by leading individuals to think of themselves and each other in group terms.


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Received: 2020-10-07
Accepted: 2021-07-15
Published Online: 2021-08-23

© 2020 Liam Cross et al., published by De Gruyter

This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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