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      Synchrony and cooperation.

      1 ,
      Psychological science
      Wiley

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          Abstract

          Armies, churches, organizations, and communities often engage in activities-for example, marching, singing, and dancing-that lead group members to act in synchrony with each other. Anthropologists and sociologists have speculated that rituals involving synchronous activity may produce positive emotions that weaken the psychological boundaries between the self and the group. This article explores whether synchronous activity may serve as a partial solution to the free-rider problem facing groups that need to motivate their members to contribute toward the collective good. Across three experiments, people acting in synchrony with others cooperated more in subsequent group economic exercises, even in situations requiring personal sacrifice. Our results also showed that positive emotions need not be generated for synchrony to foster cooperation. In total, the results suggest that acting in synchrony with others can increase cooperation by strengthening social attachment among group members.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Psychol Sci
          Psychological science
          Wiley
          1467-9280
          0956-7976
          Jan 2009
          : 20
          : 1
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Department of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University, CA 94305, USA. scwilter@stanford.edu
          Article
          PSCI2253
          10.1111/j.1467-9280.2008.02253.x
          19152536
          a7b2a5bb-7ce8-4827-8902-2706691692a4
          History

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