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Dinner Speech - Wolfgang Tschacher

Nonverbal synchrony – the embodiment of social interaction

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Tschacher
University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Bern

Nonverbal synchrony – the embodiment of social interaction
When Apr 11, 2018
from 05:30 PM to 06:00 PM
Where FRIAS, Albertstr. 19, Lecture Hall
Contact Name
Contact Phone 0761 203 97404
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Synchrony, the coupling and entrainment of motor behavior and physiology, is a core phenomenon arising in social interaction, which is commonly outside people's awareness. We designed an algorithm to detect synchrony based on time series, and to estimate effect sizes of synchrony using surrogate tests. We also developed an application by which we can objectively read out movement from videos. Recent empirical projects have shown that movement synchrony is present in psychotherapy sessions with significant effect sizes. The quality of alliance is embodied by the degree of synchrony between therapist and patient. Embodied synchrony was also found associated with personality features of patients, with attachment and interpersonal styles. In schizophrenia, nonverbal synchrony during role plays was related to symptom profiles. In sum, research has shown that nonverbal, probably also physiological, synchrony provides important information on the interacting individuals in psychotherapy sessions as well as in everyday conversations.