“Show me how you move, I’ll tell you how well you bond”. An empirical investigation into the effect of physical exertion and synchrony on perceived entitativity.
Emerging evidence has linked movement synchrony to entitativity, the perception of a collection of individuals as a social unit. Moreover, physical exertion has been linked to greater group bonding in inter-group related tasks. The current study investigates two main hypotheses; the first hypothesis being that the higher the level of physical exertion in a movement, the higher ratings of entitativity will be. The second hypothesis is that synchronous movements will elicit higher ratings of entitativity compared to asynchronous movements. In a within-subjects study design, fifty-two participants viewed eight video clips of point-light figure dyads (four activities: Real Walk, March Walk, Hip Rotations, and Star Jumps in two movement conditions: Synchrony and Asynchrony). Participants then provided ratings on entitativity and exertion. Results suggested that levels of exertion predicted perceived entitativity. Likewise, a generally statistically significant difference in entitativity between synchrony and asynchrony was found. This study implicates exertion and synchrony as significant perceptual cues by which observers judge entitativity.