Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 22, Issue 1, pp 3–29

The Courtship Dance: Patterns of Nonverbal Synchronization in Opposite-Sex Encounters

  • Karl Grammer
  • Kirsten B. Kruck
  • Magnus S. Magnusson

DOI: 10.1023/A:1022986608835

Cite this article as:
Grammer, K., Kruck, K.B. & Magnusson, M.S. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior (1998) 22: 3. doi:10.1023/A:1022986608835


This study examines the existence of behavioral correlates of synchronization on different levels of analysis and methods. We were unable to demonstrate a relation between synchronization defined in terms of movement echo or position mirroring and subjective experience of pleasure and interest in opposite-sex encounters. Significant results were found for a phenomenon we describe as hierarchically patterned synchronization. These patterns were identified with the help of a newly developed search algorithm. If a female is interested in a male, highly complex patterns of behavior with a constant time structure emerge. The patterns are pair-specific and independent from behavioral content. This rhythmic structure of interactions is discussed in functional terms of human courtship.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Karl Grammer
    • 1
  • Kirsten B. Kruck
  • Magnus S. Magnusson
  1. 1.Ludwig-Boltzmann-Institute for Urban EthologyViennaAustria

Personalised recommendations