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People are Social Animals > Doing Things Together Bonds People Together

65. Doing Things Together Bonds People Together

What do members of a marching band, fans cheering at a high school football game, and people at church have in common? They are all engaging in synchronous activity.

Anthropologists have long been interested in rituals among certain cultures, such as drumming, dancing, and singing. Scott Wiltermuth and Chip Heath (2009) conducted a series of studies to examine in more detail whether, and how, synchronous behavior affects how people cooperate. They tested combinations of walking in step, not walking in step, singing together, and other movements with groups of participants. What they found was that people who engaged in synchronous activities were more cooperative in completing subsequent tasks, and more willing to make personal sacrifices in order to benefit the group.


  

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