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Being in a crowd bonds people via physiological synchrony

Baranowski-Pinto, G., Profeta, V. L. S., Newson, Martha, Whitehouse, H., Xygalatas, D. (2022) Being in a crowd bonds people via physiological synchrony. Scientific Reports, 12 (1). Article Number 613. ISSN 2045-2322. (doi:10.1038/s41598-021-04548-2) (KAR id:94940)


Collective events can generate intense emotions, shape group identities, and forge strong bonds. Do these effects extend to remote participation, and what are the psychological mechanisms underpinning their social power? We monitored psycho-physiological activity among groups of basketball fans who either attended games in-person (in a stadium) or watched games live on television in small groups. In-person attendance was associated with greater synchronicity in autonomic nervous system activation at the group level, which resulted in more transformative experiences and contributed to stronger identity fusion. Our findings suggest that the social effects of sports depend substantially on the inter-personal dynamics unfolding among fans, rather than being prompted simply by watching the game itself. Given the increasing prevalence of virtual experiences, this has potentially wide-reaching implications for many domains of collective human interaction.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1038/s41598-021-04548-2
Uncontrolled keywords: Human behaviour; Psychophysics
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Human and Social Sciences > School of Anthropology and Conservation
Depositing User: Martha Newson
Date Deposited: 09 May 2022 09:41 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2022 05:48 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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