The ‘Rocking Chair Paradigm’ [study]

In 2007 (or thereabouts) researchers from Colby College, US, the University of Connecticut, US and the College of the Holy Cross, US, jointly came up with the ‘Rocking Chair Paradigm’.

The paradigm provided a new method to investigate whether, in some situations, people are prone to (consciously or unconsciously ) synchronize their movements with each other. The paradigm differs from previous methodologies (e.g. using swinging pendulums*) in that the experimental participants don’t have to be instructed to oscillate – they like doing it, and so they do it anyway.

“Clearly, the specific predictions of the coupled oscillator model used to understand within and between person coordination mean that the rocking chair paradigm could offer a powerful way of systematically examining the relationships between interpersonal coordination and the social psychological aspects of interpersonal interaction. Moreover, by drawing on dynamical systems theory, the rocking chair paradigm should help in uncovering the degree to which interpersonal interaction itself needs to be understood as a dynamically constrained self-organized process.”

See :   Rocking together: Dynamics of intentional and unintentional interpersonal coordination  in Human Movement Science, Volume 26, Issue 6, December 2007, Pages 867-891. A full copy of which may be found here.

* Note: Or, if you prefer, pendula.

Research research by Martin Gardiner