Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Research: Something in the way we move: Motion dynamics, not perceived sex, influence head movements in conversation.

Something in the way we move: Motion dynamics, not perceived sex, influence head movements in conversation.

Boker, Steven M.; Cohn, Jeffrey F.; Theobald, Barry-John; Matthews, Iain; Mangini, Michael; Spies, Jeffrey R.; Ambadar, Zara; Brick, Timothy R.
doi: 10.1037/a0021928

Journal of Experiment​al Psychology​: Human Perception and Performanc​e - Online First Publicatio​ns & Volume 37, Issue 2

Abstract: During conversation, women tend to nod their heads more frequently and more vigorously than men. An individual speaking with a woman tends to nod his or her head more than when speaking with a man. Is this due to social expectation or due to coupled motion dynamics between the speakers? We present a novel methodology that allows us to randomly assign apparent identity during free conversation in a videoconference, thereby dissociating apparent sex from motion dynamics. The method uses motion-tracked synthesized avatars that are accepted by naive participants as being live video. We find that 1) motion dynamics affect head movements but that apparent sex does not; 2) judgments of sex are driven almost entirely by appearance; and 3) ratings of masculinity and femininity rely on a combination of both appearance and dynamics. Together, these findings are consistent with the hypothesis of separate perceptual streams for appearance and biological motion. In addition, our results are consistent with a view that head movements in conversation form a low level perception and action system that can operate independently from top–down social expectations. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2011 APA, all rights reserved)

You can find the entire papre online.◦


Kuzmich said...

I havn;t read the paper yet for I don't have much time, but i wonder if they have considered the Display rules of that culture and the differences in display rules in other cultures.

If in America, it is customary to have head movements during conversation, it could a have different meaning say in African cultures or European cultures.

So if all the participants in the study were from the same background and culture, would this be an accurate study?