Cultural familiarity and individual musical taste differently affect social bonding when moving to music

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Authors

Colleges, School and Institutes

External organisations

  • Center of Functionally Integrative Neuroscience, Aarhus University Hospital
  • The Royal Academy of Music, Aarhus/Aalborg

Abstract

Social bonds are essential for our health and well-being. Music provides a unique and implicit context for social bonding by introducing temporal and affective frameworks, which facilitate movement synchronization and increase affiliation. How these frameworks are modulated by cultural familiarity and individual musical preferences remain open questions. In three experiments, we operationalized the affective aspects of social interactions as ratings of interpersonal closeness between two walking stick-figures in a video. These figures represented a virtual self and a virtual other person. The temporal aspects of social interactions were manipulated by movement synchrony: while the virtual self always moved in time with the beat of instrumental music, the virtual other moved either synchronously or asynchronously. When the context-providing music was more enjoyed, social closeness increased strongly with a synchronized virtual other, but only weakly with an asynchronized virtual other. When the music was more familiar, social closeness was higher independent of movement synchrony. We conclude that the social context provided by music can strengthen interpersonal closeness by increasing temporal and affective self-other overlaps. Individual musical preferences might be more relevant for the influence of movement synchrony on social bonding than musical familiarity.

Details

Original languageEnglish
Article number10015
Number of pages12
JournalScientific Reports
Volume10
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jun 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas