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Synchrony and Cooperation

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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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Research Report
Synchrony and Cooperation
Scott S. Wiltermuth and Chip Heath
Department of Organizational Behavior, Stanford University
ABSTRACT—Armies, churches, organizations, and com-
munities often engage in activities—for example, march-
ing, singing, and dancing—that lead group members to act
in synchrony with each other. Anthropologists and sociol-
ogists 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.
The decline of the bayonet and the advent of the machine gun
have made marching in step a terrible, if not suicidal, combat
tactic (McNeill, 1995). Yet armies still train by marching in step.
Similarly, religions around the world incorporate synchronous
singing and chanting into their rituals (Radcliffe-Brown, 1922).
Why? We suggest that acting in synchrony with others can foster
cooperation within groups by strengthening group cohesion. If
true, our hypothesis may explain the widespread presence of
cultural rituals involving synchrony: Such rituals may have
evolved as partial solutions to the free-rider problem, the ten-
dency for some individuals to shoulder less than their share of
the burden of producing public goods and participating in col-
lective action.
The idea that synchronous movement improves group cohe-
sion has old roots. As historian William H. McNeill suggests,
armies, churches, and communities may have all benefited,
intentionally or unintentionally, from cultural practices that
draw on ‘‘muscular bonding,’’ or physical synchrony, to solidify
ties between members (McNeill, 1995). This physical syn-
chrony, which occurs when people move in time with one an-
other, has been argued to produce positive emotions that weaken
the boundaries between the self and the group (Ehrenreich,
2006; Hannah, 1977), leading to feelings of collective efferves-
cence that enable groups to remain cohesive (Durkheim, 1915/
1965; Haidt, Seder, & Kesebir, in press; Turner, 1969/1995).
Andaman Islanders have been said to become ‘‘absorbed in the
unified community’’ through dance (Radcliffe-Brown, 1922,
p. 252). Similar observations have been made of Carnival rev-
elers (Ehrenreich, 2006), and ravers dancing to beat-heavy music
(Olaveson, 2004). Moreover, Haidt et al. (in press) have argued
that people must occasionally lose themselves in a larger social
organism to achieve the highest levels of individual well-being.
Despite the speculation that synchrony contributes to group
cohesion (Ehrenreich, 2006; Haidt, 2007; Haidt et al., in press;
McNeill, 1995) there is little evidence of this causal linkage.
Without such causal evidence, we cannot predict whether
groups that evolve synchrony rituals are better able to tackle
joint challenges than those that don’t. While we know that
making an existing group identity salient can lead individuals to
act in the group’s interests (De Cremer & Van Vugt, 1999;
Kramer & Brewer, 1984), we do not yet know if ‘‘being absorbed
in a community’’ through synchronous activity can prompt in-
dividuals to act in concert with their group.
Puzzles also remain about what kinds of synchrony promote
cohesion. Anthropologists have primarily examined the gross-
motor ‘‘muscular bonding’’ that McNeill (1995) highlighted in
dancing or marching. Yet cultural life involves many other
synchrony rituals, such as religious chanting or singing, that
don’t involve gross motor movement. And existing hypotheses
about why synchrony works seem limited. ‘‘Collective effer-
vescence’’ may describe the joy experienced by rave dancers,
but it is unlikely to describe the attitude of soldiers marching
together.
We conducted three experiments testing whether synchrony
can improve cooperation within groups, particularly when such
cooperation entails action that is costly to individuals, as op-
erationalized in standard games used by experimental econo-
mists to test coordination and free-riding. Based on the
prevalence of synchronous cultural rituals that do not involve
muscular bonding, we predicted that synchrony need not involve
Address correspondence to Scott S. Wiltermuth, Stanford Univer-
sity, Department of Organizational Behavior, 518 Memorial Way,
Stanford, CA 94305, e-mail: scwilter@stanford.edu.
PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCE
Volume 20—Number 1 1Copyright r2009 Association for Psychological Science
gross muscular movement to boost cooperation. We further
tested whether collective joy was a necessary mediating mech-
anism, suspecting (based on non-joyful synchrony rituals in the
military and religion) that such joy would not be necessary.
STUDY 1
Method
An experimenter led 30 participants (60% female; mean age 5
20, SD 52.0) in groups of 3 on walks around campus. In the
synchronous condition, participants walked in step. In the
control condition, they walked normally. After their walk, par-
ticipants completed a questionnaire designed to convince par-
ticipants that they had finished the experiment.
In an ostensibly separate experiment, a second experimenter
conducted the Weak Link Coordination Exercise, which models
situations in which group productivity is a function of the lowest
level of input (Weber, Camerer, & Knez, 2004; Weber, Rot-
tenstreich, Camerer, & Knez, 2001). In this exercise, each
participant chooses a number from 1 to 7 without communi-
cating. As Table 1 shows, payoffs increase as a function of the
smallest number chosen and decrease with the distance between
the participant’s choice of number and the smallest number
chosen in the group. Every participant would do best if all group
members chose the number 7, but if participants fear that some
individual ‘‘weak link’’ may not choose a high number, they
might rationally choose lower numbers. Because misperceptions
are costly, the game measures expectations of cooperation.
Participants played six rounds of the game and were paid
based on the outcomes of a round chosen at random following
the completion of the last round. Participants could not talk
during the exercise. Each participant wrote down his or her
selection for each round, after which the experimenter surveyed
the responses, announced the minimum number selected, and
instructed participants to write down a number for the next
round. Afterwards, participants answered ‘‘How connected did
you feel with the other participants during the walk?’’, ‘‘How
much did you trust the other participants going into the exer-
cise?’’, and ‘‘How happy do you feel?’’ using 7-point Likert
scales (1 5not at all,75very much).
Results and Discussion
Consistent with our synchrony-cooperation hypothesis, partici-
pants who walked in step chose higher numbers in the first round
than did those who did not walk in step (M55.4, SD 51.6 vs.
M53.6, SD 51.1), t(24.6) 52.09, p
rep
5.92, d51.29.
Choices in subsequent rounds were not significantly different.
Participants in the synchronous condition felt more connected
with their counterparts than did those in the asynchronous
condition (M54.5, SD 51.4 vs. M52.9, SD 51.9), t(28) 5
2.61, p
rep
5.97, d50.96, and trusted their counterparts more
(M55.6, SD 51.3 vs. M54.1, SD 51.1), t(28) 53.01,
p
rep
5.97, d51.25. Contrary to the mechanism of collective
effervescence, participants in the synchronous condition did not
feel happier than did those in the control condition (M54.7,
SD 51.5 vs. M54.8, SD 50.8).
STUDY 2
In Study 2, we explored whether synchrony could boost coop-
eration above and beyond the effects of two established sources
of group cohesion: common identity and common fate (e.g.,
Brewer & Silver, 1978; Tajfel, Flament, Billig, & Bundy, 1971;
Tajfel & Turner, 1986). In the manipulation phase of our ex-
periment, the experimenter verbally referred to the participants
as a group, and group members participated in a task together
(common identity). Group members also faced a common payoff
for their performance (common fate). Thus, for synchrony to be
shown to affect cooperation, its effects had to reach beyond
common fate and common identity.
Method
In groups of 3, 96 participants (56% female; mean age 521
years, SD 51.9) listened to music through headphones while
performing tasks requiring differing degrees of synchrony. Each
task involved handling plastic cups and listening to music.
Participants were told that they would be paid between $1 and
$5 based on their group performance during this ‘‘cups and
music’’ task and that all members of their group would receive
the same payment. The music in this study was ‘‘O Canada,’’ a
song chosen to test whether synchrony can induce cooperation
when the soundtrack to the group experience is an out-group
anthem (our participants were residents of the United States).
Groups were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: In
the control condition (i.e., the no-singing, no-moving condition),
participants listened to ‘‘O Canada,’’ held a plastic cup above
the table, and silently read the lyrics to the anthem. In the
synchronous-singing condition, participants listened to the an-
TABLE 1
Payoff Grid for the Weak Link Coordination Exercise Used in
Studies 1 and 2
Participant’s
choice
Minimum value chosen
7654321
7 $7.80 $6.60 $5.40 $4.20 $3.00 $1.80 $0.60
6 $7.20 $6.00 $4.80 $3.60 $2.40 $1.20
5 $6.60 $5.40 $4.20 $3.00 $1.80
4 $6.00 $4.80 $3.60 $2.40
3 $5.40 $4.20 $3.00
2 $4.80 $3.60
1 $4.20
Note. In this exercise, payoffs increase as a function of the smallest number
chosen by a group member and decrease with the distance between the par-
ticipant’s choice and the minimum value chosen in the group.
2Volume 20—Number 1
Synchrony and Cooperation
them, held the cup, and sang the words ‘‘O Canada’’ at the
appropriate times. In the synchronous-singing-and-moving
condition, participants listened to the anthem, sang the words
‘‘O Canada,’’ and moved cups from side to side in time with the
music. In the asynchronous condition, participants sang and
moved cups, but participants each listened to the anthem at a
different tempo, causing them to move their cups at different
rates and sing ‘‘O Canada’’ at different times. Participants in all
conditions were told that they might hear the same or different
versions of ‘‘O Canada,’’ but only participants in the asynchro-
nous condition actually heard different versions. We predicted
that participants in the two synchrony conditions would coop-
erate more in the subsequent Weak Link Coordination Exercise
described in Study 1 than would participants in the control or
asynchronous conditions.
While participants were told that group performance deter-
mined their payment, participants received $4 for their partic-
ipation in the group study. This payment placed them high in the
range of possible payoffs and reinforced feelings of success.
After the cups-and-music task, participants answered ‘‘How
much did you feel you were on the same team with the other
participants?’’, ‘‘How much did you trust the other participants
going into the exercise?’’, ‘‘How similar are you to the other
participants?’’, and ‘‘How happy are you right now?’’ using
7-point Likert scales (1 5not at all,75very much).
Results and Discussion
Figure 1 displays mean participant choices by condition.
Counter to the muscular-bonding hypothesis, cooperation did
not differ between the synchronous-singing and synchronous-
singing-and-moving conditions, t(49) 50.16, p
rep
5.54. As we
predicted, participants in these synchronous conditions chose
higher numbers in Round 1, t(70) 52.06, p
rep
5.93, d50.58,
and in the final round, F(1, 29) 54.26, p
rep
5.92, d50.74, than
did those in the asynchronous condition. They also reported
greater feelings of being on the same team (M55.31, SD 51.34
vs. M53.71, SD 51.43), t(70) 54.21, p
rep
5.99, d51.15.
Counter to a collective effervescence explanation, they did not
report being any happier (M55.03, SD 51.05 vs. M54.95,
SD 50.74), t(67) 50.27, p
rep
<.61. Participants in the syn-
chronous conditions cooperated marginally more in Round 1,
t(70) 51.65, p
rep
5.88, d51.07, and in the final round, F(1,
29) 52.60, p
rep
5.86, d50.63, than did those in the control
condition. Overall, participants in synchronous conditions re-
ceived higher payoffs (M5$5.57, SD 5$1.07) than did those in
the asynchronous condition (M5$4.90, SD 5$0.68), F(1, 28)
54.43, p
rep
5.93, d50.75, or control condition (M5$4.79,
SD 5$1.10), F(1, 28) 54.97, p
rep
5.94, d50.72.
In sum, Study 2 showed that synchronous activity can in-
crease future cooperation. Although all participants had real
financial incentives to cooperate, participants in the synchro-
nous conditions cooperated more than did those in other con-
ditions. Synchrony involving large-muscle movements did not
produce significantly more cooperation than did synchronous
singing alone.
STUDY 3
In Study 3, we explored whether moving in synchrony could
boost cooperation when behaving cooperatively conflicts with
2.5
3.0
3.5
4.0
4.5
5.0
5.5
6.0
123456
Round
Average Number Chosen in
Weak-Link Exercise
Asynchronous Singing and Moving Synchronous Singing and Moving
No Singing, No Moving Synchronous Singing
Fig. 1. Mean choices in the Weak Link Coordination Exercise in Study 2, as a function of round. Results are
plotted separately for the four conditions: synchronous singing and moving; synchronous singing; asyn-
chronous singing and moving; and no singing, no moving (control). Error bars indicate 1SEM.
Volume 20—Number 1 3
Scott S. Wiltermuth and Chip Heath
personal self-interest. We tested whether, after behaving in
synchrony with others, people would contribute more to a public
account in a commons dilemma known as a public-goods game
(Croson & Marks, 2000).
Method
In groups of 3, 105 participants (66% female; mean age 521
years, SD 52.0) first engaged in the cups-and-music task used
in Study 2. We used the same set of synchrony manipulations as
in Study 2. Participants then engaged in a public-goods game
and finally completed the questionnaire used in Study 2.
In the public-goods game, each of 3 participants had 10 to-
kens in each of five rounds that he or she could contribute into a
public account or keep in a private account. Tokens in the public
account earned $0.25 for every member of the group. Tokens
kept in the private account were worth $0.50 each to the person
holding the token but nothing to the other two group members. In
this kind of game, individuals obtain more direct value from
keeping tokens in their private account, but full contribution of
tokens to the public account maximizes group earnings. As in
the classic prisoner’s dilemma or the tragedy of the commons,
the dominant economic strategy in this exercise is to behave
selfishly—keeping one’s own resources in one’s private account
while reaping the benefits of others’ contributions to the public
account.
Results and Discussion
As Figure 2 illustrates, levels of cooperation in the synchronous-
singing condition paralleled those in the synchronous-singing-
and-moving condition, t(52) 50.08, p
rep
5.52. Relative to
participants in the asynchronous condition, participants in
the synchronous conditions allocated marginally more tokens in
Round 1, t(79) 51.69, p
rep
5.88, d50.42, and significantly
more tokens in all subsequent rounds, all p
rep
s>.96. Partici-
pants in the synchronous conditions also cooperated marginally
more in Round 1, t(79) 51.69, p
rep
5.88, d50.42, and sig-
nificantly more in Rounds 2 through 4, all p
rep
s>.92, than did
those in the control condition.
Synchrony made contributions to the public account more
persistent over time. Participants in asynchronous conditions
contributed significantly fewer tokens to the public account in
the last round than they did in the first round, t(26) 53.39,
p
rep
5.99, d51.33, but no corresponding decline occurred in
the synchronous conditions. This persistence is particularly
interesting because the modal pattern in public-goods games is
for contributions to fall over rounds (Andreoni, 1995).
Participants in the synchronous conditions reported greater
feelings of being on the same team (M54.9, SD 51.7) than did
those in the asynchronous conditions (M53.6, SD 52.0),
t(79) 53.19, p
rep
5.95, d50.70, or control condition (M54.1,
SD 51.7), t(76) 51.95, p
rep
5.92, d50.48. These feelings of
being on the same team partially mediated the effect of condition
on tokens contributed in Rounds 3 through 5, Sobel tests >2.2,
p
rep
s>.94. Thus, synchronous participants continued to co-
operate in part because they felt they were on the same team.
Participants in synchronous conditions received higher pay-
offs (M5$6.49, SD 5$1.12) than did those in the asynchro-
nous condition (M5$5.79, SD 5$0.97), F(1, 32.5) 511.15,
p
rep
5.99, d50.67, or the control condition (M5$5.96,
SD 5$0.89), F(1, 32.5) 55.84, p
rep
5.95, d50.52. They also
felt more similar to their counterparts than did those in the
0.0
1.0
2.0
3.0
4.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
8.0
12345
Round
Tokens Contributed to Public Account
Asynchronous Singing and Moving Synchronous Singing and Moving
No Singing, No Moving Synchronous Singing
Fig. 2. Contributions to the public account in Study 3, as a function of round, plotted separately for the
four conditions: synchronous singing and moving; synchronous singing; asynchronous singing and moving;
and no singing, no moving (control). Error bars indicate SEM.
4Volume 20—Number 1
Synchrony and Cooperation
asynchronous condition (M54.2, SD 51.2 vs. M53.4, SD 5
1.4), t(79) 52.50, p
rep
5.95, d50.61, and trusted them mar-
ginally more (M54.6, SD 51.5 vs. M54.0, SD 51.7), t(79) 5
1.79, p
rep
5.89, d50.37. They did not report being happier
(M54.8, SD 51.2) than did participants in the asynchronous
(M55.1, SD 50.9) or control (M54.8, SD 51.1) conditions.
GENERAL DISCUSSION
Taken together, these studies suggest that acting in synchrony
with others can lead people to cooperate with group members.
While the studies do not eliminate the possibility that muscular
bonding and collective effervescence may, under the right
conditions, strengthen the effects of synchrony on cooperation,
our results show that synchronous action need not entail mus-
cular bonding or instill collective effervescence to create a
willingness to cooperate. Our results suggest that cultural
practices involving synchrony (e.g., music, dance, and march-
ing) may enable groups to mitigate the free-rider problem and
more successfully coordinate in taking potentially costly social
action. Synchrony rituals may have therefore endowed some
cultural groups with an advantage in societal evolution, leading
some groups to survive where others have failed (Nowak, 2006;
Sober & Wilson, 1998).
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(RECEIVED 6/20/08; REVISION ACCEPTED 7/22/08)
Volume 20—Number 1 5
Scott S. Wiltermuth and Chip Heath
... As recent research has demonstrated (e.g., [15], [21]) collaboration in synchronised human teams brings with it an abundance of desirable effects including: increase in task performance [21], greater feeling of likeability towards collaborators [4], [7], or a greater willingness to cooperate [15], [22]. In order for pairs, groups or crowds to synchronise efficiently, collaborators undergo an entrainment period that leads towards synchronisation [15]. ...
... In order for pairs, groups or crowds to synchronise efficiently, collaborators undergo an entrainment period that leads towards synchronisation [15]. Yet, most studies investigating interpersonal motor synchronisation in non-dyadic settings (i.e., beyond two actors) focus on non-industrial tasks such as clapping [11], walking [22] or finger tapping [4]. ...
... We see entrainment not as the goal, but as the method to achieve the goal-synchronisation. Numerous studies have demonstrated that the synchronous behaviour of human collaborators has an abundance of positive side effects. Benefits of synchronous behaviour include amongst others: increased task performance [21], improvement in interpersonal likeability [4], [7] an increased feeling of group behaviour [15], [22], or a sense of togetherness [4]. ...
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In order to achieve efficient collaboration during task completion in groups, temporal alignment is essential, i.e., synchronisation. We believe that efficient entrainment in mixed human-robot teams can positively affect human-robot collaboration. However, few studies have investigated how groups of humans entrain with each other to acquire new knowledge transferable to human-robot collaboration. This paper proposes a study design to get new insights into how dyads and triads of human workers entrain in assembly tasks simulating the industrial context. We argue that the investigation of both dyadic and non-dyadic (i.e., triadic) configurations is essential, as this will give us insights into how, and if, the complexity of reaching temporal synchronisation through entrainment increases with additional actors. Lastly, we propose a follow-up study investigating how the mechanisms utilised in human-human entrainment can be replicated in an industrial robot, ultimately improving human-robot collaboration in mixed teams. Index Terms-entrainment in mixed human-robot groups, industrial collaboration, non-dyadic HRC, synchronising with robots
... In interpersonal synchrony, the actions of two or more people overlap in time (Bernieri et al., 1988;Rennung & Göritz, 2016), whether with same actions (e.g., a marching band walking in stride) or different ones (e.g., players in an orchestra) (Hove & Risen, 2009). Early studies showed that movements exercised in synchrony increased affiliation for the co-participant (Hove & Risen, 2009), enhanced cooperative behaviors, feelings of trust, feelings of similarity and shared belonging (Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009), and fostered compassion and altruistic behavior (Valdesolo & DeSteno, 2011). In a meta-analytic review, Rennung and Göritz (2016) examined 60 experiments that compared an interpersonal synchrony condition (motor movements or sensory stimulation) with at least one control condition. ...
... Some of the findings in our review support such outcomes. Thus, in the section on synchrony, significant effects are mentioned for "feelings of similarity" and "shared belonging" (Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009), and for "perceived social bonding" (meta-analytic review of Mogan et al., 2017), three variables that come close to awareness of group unity. Similarly, in the section on shared experiences, people with greater SR-G were reported as more likely to have experienced "the feeling of having merged minds". ...
Article
For Durkheim (1915), individuals’ survival and well-being rest on cultural resources and social belonging that must be revived periodically in collective assemblies. Durkheim’s concern was to clarify how these assemblies achieve this revitalization. An intensive examination of primitive religions led him to identify successive levels of engagement experienced by participants and to develop explanatory principles relevant to all types of collective gatherings. Durkheim’s conception is widely referred to nowadays. However, the question of its empirical status remains open. We extracted from his text his main statements and we translated them into research questions. We then examined each question in relation to current theories and findings. In particular, we relied on the plethora of recent cognitive and social psychology studies that document conditions of reduced self-other differentiation. Abundant data support that each successive moment of collective assemblies contributes to blurring this differentiation. Ample support also exists that as shared emotions are increasingly amplified in collective context, they can fuel high-intensity experiences. Moreover, recent studies of self-transcendent emotions can account for the self-transformative effects described by Durkheim at the climax of collective assemblies. In conclusion, this century-old model is remarkably supported by recent results, mostly collected in experimental settings.
... Ce processus pourrait constituer un mécanisme de base qui sous-tend la SINV (Koban et al., 2019). Ensuite, d'un point de vue social, l'influence de la SINV sur le comportement et jugement social s'expliquerait par le désir des êtres humains de créer une affiliation et un rapport positif lorsqu'ils interagissent avec quelqu'un d'autre (Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009). Hove (2008) a émis l'hypothèse qu'à mesure que les gens s'installent dans une relation interactionnelle, les frontières entre l'individu et l'autre s'estompent. ...
... En somme, l'émergence de la synchronie interpersonnelle est étroitement liée à des échanges sociaux positifs et mutuellement bénéfiques. La synchronisation favorise également la coopération et l'aide (Wiltermuth & Heath, 2009), accroît l'appréciation, la compassion, l'engagement et les rapports (Hove, 2008;Valdesolo et al., 2010) ainsi que la compréhension, la sensibilité de la réponse aux partenaires d'interaction Valdesolo et al., 2010 (Bernieri et al., 1988), et les couples dont la satisfaction conjugale est élevée se synchronisent davantage que les couples dont la satisfaction conjugale est faible (Julien et al., 2000). ...
Thesis
Cette thèse répond à la demande issue d’un projet ANR (Agence Nationale de la Recherche) qui vise à doter un Robot d’Assistance Sociale (RAS) de compétences le rendant capable de procéder à un dépistage précoce de troubles neurocognitifs. Ce travail doctoral a deux objectifs. Le premier correspond à l’identification, la catégorisation et l’opérationnalisation des compétences que le psychologue mobilise lors de l’évaluation des capacités cognitives de personnes âgées. Le deuxième objectif vise à objectiver la qualité de l’alliance de travail entre le psychologue et la personne âgée dans le contexte de la passation évaluative. Dans les deux cas, une analyse du processus de leur mise en œuvre a été menée.À cette fin, un corpus multimodal a été créé à partir de l’enregistrement audio-visuel de 11 psychologues filmés dans un living-lab pendant qu’ils évaluaient les capacités cognitives de 64 personnes âgées à l’aide de deux tests évaluatifs (i.e., MMSE et RL/RI-16). Basée sur le relevé des actions verbales, une grille d’analyse des compétences du psychologue en contexte évaluatif a été élaborée à partir de ce corpus audio-visuel, selon une approche inductive en trois étapes. Cette grille inventorie 15 compétences, dont 9 compétences centrées test et 6 compétences centrées relation, nécessaires aux psychologues dans la réalisation de la tâche d’évaluation des troubles neurocognitifs.Les résultats montrent que les psychologues verbalisent davantage lorsque les personnes âgées présentent des capacités cognitives faibles, sans pour autant être en mesure de préciser à quel type de compétences le psychologue a recours (i.e., compétences centrées test ou centrées relation). La qualité de l’alliance de travail de la dyade a été analysée en mesurant la synchronie interactionnelle non verbale (SINV). Les résultats montrent que la SINV est significativement prédite par le taux de compétences centrées relation mobilisées par le psychologue.Ce travail doctoral apporte des éléments de réponse sur les déterminants de l’interaction psychologue – personne âgée en contexte évaluatif. Par ailleurs, les résultats concernant l’identification, la catégorisation et l’opérationnalisation des compétences du psychologue en contexte évaluatif tentent de pallier certains problèmes théoriques liés aux compétences. De plus, dans ce contexte spécifique, la SINV semble être une mesure prometteuse de la qualité de l’alliance de travail de la dyade. Pour finir, cette thèse apporte un éclairage théorique et méthodologique sur la conception ergonomique d’un RAS dont l’objectif est de dépister précocement les troubles neurocognitifs de personnes âgées.
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