Does interpersonal liking lead to interpersonal synchrony in musical contexts?

Zachary J. Melton, Roger Chaffin, Kayleigh Kangas-Dick, Kerry L. Marsh, Alexander P. Demos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


The causal relationship of interpersonal liking affecting interpersonal synchrony is inconsistently documented. This study tests whether (a) interpersonal liking increases both behavioural and perceived synchrony and (b) people will synchronise with an agreeable partner over a competing musical stimulus. We had college students (N = 25) shake an egg-shaker with an agreeable or disagreeable confederate without music, with music, and with specific instruction to synchronise. Participants reported liking the agreeable confederate more than the disagreeable confederate and rated their relationship more positively; however, both behavioural and perceived synchrony were unaffected by the agreeableness of the confederate. Thus, we failed to replicate previous findings in an auditory only context. Furthermore, participants who believed they were more synchronised with the confederate liked the confederate more and felt more like a team, but the degree of behavioural synchrony was unrelated to these social perceptions. Perception of synchrony appears to be more important for social bonding than behavioural synchrony.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)460-467
Number of pages8
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Interpersonal synchrony
  • interpersonal liking
  • music synchrony
  • recurrence quantification analysis
  • social bonding


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