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Silent Disco: Evaluating Social Motor Coordination as a Means of Promoting Social Connectedness

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posted on 2022-11-20, 23:27 authored by Olivia N. Soesanto

Social isolation has been identified as a risk factor for various physical, psychological, and cognitive problems. However, interventions addressing this issue are currently limited. Many are not theoretically grounded, expensive, or have limited generalisability. Research on social motor coordination (SMC), defined as the intentional or unintentional coordination of movement between individuals in a social setting, has been linked to psychosocial outcomes that may be beneficial in fostering social connectedness – a protective factor against the detrimental effects of social isolation. The current study uses a silent disco paradigm to explore a theoretically driven, empirical investigation on how social connectedness may be promoted or enhanced by creating opportunities to socially interact and coordinate. Groups of 4 took part in a silent disco. Groups listened to either the same music (the same track at the same time) or different music (different tracks at any one time). Visual information was also manipulated by having groups first listened and danced with the curtains closed (2 minutes) and then open (10 minutes). Head movements were recorded with a wireless motion tracking system, attached to the silent disco headphones. Psychosocial outcomes were measured using questionnaires completed prior to and after participation in the silent disco. Results showed that groups that listened to the same music have greater degree of SMC than groups that listened to different music. Greater degrees of SMC were also observed when group members were able to see one another. Findings also demonstrated that greater SMC was associated with increased self-other overlap and increased perceived quality of interaction. This study provides evidence that silent disco is a potential method for creating opportunities to interact and coordinate to promote and enhance social connectedness.


Table of Contents

Silent Disco: Evaluating Social Motor Coordination as a Means of Promoting Social Connectedness -- Method -- Results -- Discussion -- References


Empirical thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Research, 2022

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


Thesis (MRes), Macquarie University, Faculty of Health, Medicine, and Human Sciences, Department of Psychology, 2022

Department, Centre or School

Department of Psychology

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Rachel W. Kallen

Additional Supervisor 1

Michael J. Richardson

Additional Supervisor 2

Gaurav Patil


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