Sintonia emotiva e sincronia periferica nella costruzione di legami sociali: uno studio hyperscanning

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Emotional harmony and peripheral synchrony in the construction of social bonds: a hyperscanning study

Michela Balconi, Maria Elide Vanutelli, Laura Gatti, Laura Angioletti

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

[Autom. eng. transl.] According to the existing literature, it is known that during different types of social interaction people can influence each other's emotional responses through resonance mechanisms. In particular, the hypothesis that inter-personal resonance processes manifest themselves with a mutual alignment of psychophysiological responses proved to be of great interest. In fact, it has been shown that peripheral autonomic activity is sensitive to the dynamics of social interaction, and that the progressive synchronization of some indexes can account for the link between two individuals. The rationale of the present study stems from the idea that, when two people fight for a common goal, they also share emotional experiences. Therefore, a new experimental paradigm was implemented in which the presence of a social bond can be gradually induced by asking the participants to cooperate, to assess whether and how a modulation of the synchrony of peripheral indices based on perceived emotional closeness occurs. The task, which consisted of a selective attention test, was presented as a cooperative game in which participants, paired in same-sex dyads, were required to synchronize their mutual responses in terms of speed and accuracy. Both the dermal electrodermal activity (skin conductance level and response: SCL and SCR indexes), and cardiovascular (heart rate: HR index) was detected for the entire duration of the task. The motivation to cooperate was induced by presenting specific feedback after each trial, and general feedback on performance in the middle of the task, to inform the subjects of the goodness of their cooperative performance. 24 subjects divided into 12 couples took part in the study. Two different types of analysis were conducted. A first at the level of the individuals considered individually, to assess general autonomic responsiveness in the course of the task and the construction of the social bond. The results showed higher HR indices in the first phase of the task, characterized by an increase in cognitive demands and the level of arousal caused by strategies and social dynamics not yet consolidated. In parallel, after reinforcement social feedback, a decrease of these indices emerged, compatible with a decrease in arousal levels and an increase in positive emotions. Subsequently, a second analysis was carried out considering the synchrony of the peripheral indices at the level of the couple, which showed an increase in synchrony after the social feedback, and in particular in the last phase of the experiment. These results, pioneering in their kind, encourage the implementation of hyperscanning paradigms to explore mechanisms of emotional attunement in increasingly ecological contexts.
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Emotional harmony and peripheral synchrony in the construction of social bonds: a hyperscanning study
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationAtti del «XXIII Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale AIP»
Pages65
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventXXIII Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale AIP - Bari
Duration: 20 Sep 201722 Sep 2017

Conference

ConferenceXXIII Congresso Nazionale della Sezione di Psicologia Sperimentale AIP
CityBari
Period20/9/1722/9/17

Keywords

  • Attività autonomica
  • Hyperscanning
  • Sincronia inter-personale, Risposte emotive

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