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Browsing by discipline "Havaintopsykologia"

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  • Niinisalo, Maija (2017)
    Objectives: Behavioural synchrony occurs in many ways in intersubjective interaction, helping to coordinate actions and bonding people together. This study aimed to understand functions of blinking in two-person interaction and social cognition: Eyeblinks are a part of nonverbal communication in natural human conversation, and therefore a possible medium for automatic behavioural synchrony. Eyeblinks are involved in embodied cognition, since blink rate has been shown to depend on cognitive workload and emotional states, for example. Thus, eyeblinks may also have functions in embodied social cognition, and deserve to be studied from that perspective. Methods: Eleven pairs of voluntary participants performed a joint decision task, while their speech and eyeblinks were recorded, and experiences about the experiment were collected by questionnaires. Participants negotiated in two conditions: standing face-to-face, and facing away from each other. Cross-recurrence rates of eyeblinks were calculated, and blink rates, blink durations and recurrence rates were analysed with repeated measures analysis of variance in different conditions, and in different sequential phases of decision-making, and with respect to the subjective experiences of fluency of cooperation. Results and conclusions: Eyeblinks were synchronized in conversation; stronger in the situation where participants did not see each other. Blink rate was also higher, and blink durations shorter in that case. The stronger synchronization in the facing away condition was interpreted to be a consequence of the task being more difficult to perform than when facing the other participant, since the lack of a visual communication channel renders nonverbal communication ineffective. This could have increased participants' stress levels, and consequently also their blink rates. Sequential phase of negotiation did not have an effect on eyeblink synchrony. The experience of fluency and the amount of eyeblink synchrony were also correlated, which supports the interpretation of synchrony serving a function in coordination of interaction. Present study broadens the understanding of the functional roles of eyeblinks, nonverbal communication, and the mechanisms of interaction.