Advertisement

Interpersonal synchrony increases social cohesion, reduces work-related stress and prevents sickdays: a longitudinal field experiment

  • Anja S. GöritzEmail author
  • Miriam Rennung
Hauptbeiträge - Offener Teil
  • 74 Downloads

Abstract

Background

This longitudinal field experiment examines synchrony to facilitate collaboration in organizations.

Objectives

Specifically, we tested if (1) the cohesion-enhancing effect of synchronous movement replicates in an organizational setting and (2) synchronous movement reduces stress on the level of the individual.

Materials and Methods

Employees of a publishing company who underwent a physical exercise intervention that involved synchronous movement for 9 weeks were compared with a treated (asynchronous movement) and a nontreated control group (no movement). Data were obtained at three measurement points.

Results

Synchronous movement enhanced social closeness, reduced work-related stress and diminished sickdays immediately following the intervention. The longer-term effects were either smaller than the short-term effects or not discernible at all.

Discussion

As the synchrony intervention was short, simple, and well accepted among employees, it is a potentially useful component of workplace health or team development initiatives.

Keywords

Interpersonal synchrony Stress Social cohesion Sickdays Field experiment 

Interpersonelle Synchronität fördert den Zusammenhalt und vermindert Stress und Krankentage: ein längsschnittliches Feldexperiment

Zusammenfassung

Hintergrund

Dieses längsschnittliche Feldexperiment untersuchte interpersonelle Synchronität in Gruppen.

Ziele

Dabei untersuchten wir, ob (1) die im Labor gezeigte zusammenhaltstiftende Wirkung synchroner Bewegung in einem organisationalen Kontext replizierbar ist und (2) synchrone Bewegung das Stresserleben von Arbeitnehmern vermindert.

Methode

Angestellte eines Verlages durchliefen ein neunwöchiges Bewegungsprogramm, welches synchrone Bewegungen beinhaltete. Diese behandelte Experimentalgruppe wurde verglichen mit einer behandelten Kontrollgruppe, die sich asynchron bewegte sowie mit einer unbehandelten Kontrollgruppe, die sich gar nicht bewegte. Es gab drei Messzeitpunkte.

Ergebnisse

Synchrone Bewegung verstärkte den Zusammenhalt zwischen den Teilnehmenden, verminderte das individuelle Erleben von Stress und reduzierte ihre Krankentage unmittelbar nach Teilnahme am Programm. Längerfristige Wirkungen der synchronen Bewegung waren entweder geringer ausgeprägt oder gar nicht feststellbar.

Diskussion

Aufgrund der Kürze des Bewegungsprogramms, seiner Einfachheit und seiner Begrüßung durch die Belegschaft stellt es potentiell eine nützliche Komponente in Maßnahmen des betrieblichen Gesundheitsmanagements oder der Teamentwicklung dar.

Schlüsselwörter

Interpersonelle Synchronität Stress Zusammenhalt Krankentage Feldexperiment 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We thank the publishing company Zypresse, Freiburg, Germany, (www.zypresse.com) for providing the field environment in which this study was run.

Funding

This work was supported by research grant GO 1107/13-1 from the German Research Foundation (DFG) to Göritz.

References

  1. Allen, D. G., Renn, R. W., & Griffeth, R. W. (2003). The impact of telecommuting design on social systems, self-regulation, and role boundaries. Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 22, 125–163.Google Scholar
  2. American Psychological Association (2017). Stress in America: Coping with change. https://www.apa.org/news/press/releases/stress/2017/state-nation.pdf. Accessed 06.2018.Google Scholar
  3. Anshel, A., & Kipper, D. A. (1988). The influence of group singing on trust and cooperation. Journal of Music Therapy, 25(3), 145–155.Google Scholar
  4. Beal, D. J., Cohen, R. R., Burke, M. J., & McLendon, C. L. (2003). Cohesion and performance in groups: A meta-analytic clarification of construct relations. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(6), 989–1004.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bittman, B. B., Berk, L. S., Felten, D. L., Westengard, J., Simonton, O. C., Pappas, J., & Ninehouser, M. (2001). Composite effects of group drumming music therapy on modulation of neuroendocrine-immune parameters in normal subjects. Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, 7(1), 38–47.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Bittman, B. B., Berk, L. S., Shannon, M., Sharaf, M., Westengard, J., Guegler, K. J., & Ruff, D. W. (2005). Recreational music-making modulates the human stress response: A preliminary individualized gene expression strategy. Medical Science Monitor, 11(2), 31–40.Google Scholar
  7. Bittman, B. B., Croft JR, D. T., Brinker, J., van Laar, R., Vernalis, M. N., & Ellsworth, D. L. (2013). Recreational music-making alters gene expression pathways in patients with coronary heart disease. Medical Science Monitor, 19, 139–147.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. Bittman, B. B., Snyder, C., Bruhn, K. T., Liebfreid, F., Stevens, C. K., Westengard, J., & Umbach, P. O. (2004). Recreational music-making: An integrative group intervention for reducing burnout and improving mood states in first year associate degree nursing students: insights and economic impact. International Journal of Nursing Education Scholarship, 1(1), 12.  https://doi.org/10.2202/1548-923x.1044.Google Scholar
  9. Boecker, H., Sprenger, T., Spilker, M. E., Henriksen, G., Koppenhoefer, M., Wagner, K. J., et al. (2008). The runner’s high: Opioidergic mechanisms in the human brain. Cerebral Cortex, 18(11), 2523–2531.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. CDC Foundation (2015). Worker illness and injury costs U.S. employers $225.8 billion annually. http://www.cdcfoundation.org/pr/2015/worker-illness-and-injury-costs-us-employers-225-billion-annually. Accessed 06.2018.Google Scholar
  11. Cirelli, L. K., Einarson, K. M., & Trainor, L. J. (2014). Interpersonal synchrony increases prosocial behavior in infants. Developmental Science, 17(6), 1003–1011.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Cohen, E. E. A., Ejsmond-Frey, R., Knight, N., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2010). Rowers’ high: Behavioural synchrony is correlated with elevated pain thresholds. Biology Letters, 6(1), 106–108.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Crutzen, R., & Göritz, A. S. (2010). Social desirability and self-reported health risk behaviors in web-based research: Three longitudinal studies. BMC Public Health, 10(1), 720.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  14. Davis, A., Taylor, J., & Cohen, E. (2015). Social bonds and exercise: Evidence for a reciprocal relationship. PloS ONE, 10(8), e136705.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  15. De Dreu, C. K., & Weingart, L. R. (2003). Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88(4), 741.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Drolet, G., Dumont, É. C., Gosselin, I., Kinkead, R., Laforest, S., & Trottier, J.-F. (2001). Role of endogenous opioid system in the regulation of the stress response. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry, 25(4), 729–741.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Dunbar, R. I. M., Baron, R., Frangou, A., Pearce, E., van Leeuwen, E. J. C., Stow, J., et al. (2012a). Social laughter is correlated with an elevated pain threshold. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 279(1731), 1161–1167.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. Dunbar, R. I. M., Kaskatis, K., MacDonald, I., & Barra, V. (2012b). Performance of music elevates pain threshold and positive affect: Implications for the evolutionary function of music. Evolutionary Psychology, 10(4), 688–702.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. Dunbar, R. I. M., Teasdale, B., Thompson, J., Budelmann, F., Duncan, S., van Emde Boas, E., & Maguire, L. (2016). Emotional arousal when watching drama increases pain threshold and social bonding. Royal Society Open Science, 3(9), 160288.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  20. Ellis, A. P. (2006). System breakdown: The role of mental models and transactive memory in the relationship between acute stress and team performance. Academy of Management Journal, 49(3), 576–589.Google Scholar
  21. Folkestad, J., & Gonzalez, R. (2010). Teamwork for innovation: A content analysis of the highly read and highly cited literature on innovation. Advances in Developing Human Resources, 12(1), 115–136.Google Scholar
  22. Good, A., Choma, B., & Russo, F. A. (2017). Movement synchrony influences intergroup relations in a minimal groups paradigm. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 39(4), 231–238.Google Scholar
  23. Guler, I., & Nerkar, A. (2012). The impact of global and local cohesion on innovation in the pharmaceutical industry. Strategic Management Journal, 33(5), 535–549.Google Scholar
  24. Halbesleben, J. R. (2006). Sources of social support and burnout: A meta-analytic test of the conservation of resources model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91(5), 1134–1145.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  25. Heinrichs, M., Baumgartner, T., Kirschbaum, C., & Ehlert, U. (2003). Social support and oxytocin interact to suppress cortisol and subjective responses to psychosocial stress. Biological Psychiatry, 54(12), 1389–1398.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  26. Hove, M. J., & Risen, J. L. (2009). It’s all in the timing: Interpersonal synchrony increases affiliation. Social Cognition, 27, 949–960.Google Scholar
  27. Kirschner, S., & Tomasello, M. (2010). Joint music making promotes prosocial behavior in 4‑year-old children. Evolution and Human Behavior, 31(5), 354–364.Google Scholar
  28. Kokal, I., Engel, A., Kirschner, S., & Keysers, C. (2011). Synchronized drumming enhances activity in the caudate and facilitates prosocial commitment—if the rhythm comes easily. PLoS ONE, 6(11), e27272.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  29. Koyama, M., Wachi, M., Utsuyama, M., Bittman, B., Hirokawa, K., & Kitagawa, M. (2009). Recreational music-making modulates immunological responses and mood states in older adults. Journal of Medical and Dental Sciences, 56, 79–90.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  30. Kristensen, T. S. (1991). Sickness absence and work strain among Danish slaughterhouse workers: An analysis of absence from work regarded as coping behaviour. Social Science & Medicine, 32(1), 15–27.Google Scholar
  31. Lakens, D. (2010). Movement synchrony and perceived entitativity. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(5), 701–708.Google Scholar
  32. Lantz, B. (2013). The impact of sample non-normality on ANOVA and alternative methods. British Journal of Mathematical and Statistical Psychology, 66(2), 224–244.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  33. Launay, J., Tarr, B., Dunbar, R. I. M., & Bshary, R. (2016). Synchrony as an adaptive mechanism for large-scale human social bonding. Ethology, 122, 1–11.Google Scholar
  34. Machin, A. J., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2011). The brain opioid theory of social attachment: A review of the evidence. Behaviour, 148(9), 985–1025.Google Scholar
  35. Mathieu, J. E., Tannenbaum, S. I., & Salas, E. (1992). Influences of individual and situational characteristics on measures of training effectiveness. Academy of Management Journal, 35(4), 828–847.Google Scholar
  36. Mazzurega, M., Pavani, F., Paladino, M. P., & Schubert, T. W. (2011). Self-other bodily merging in the context of synchronous but arbitrary-related multisensory inputs. Experimental Brain Research, 213(2–3), 213–221.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. Michie, S. (2003). Reducing work related psychological ill health and sickness absence: A systematic literature review. Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 60(1), 3–9.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  38. Miles, L. K., Nind, L. K., & Macrae, C. N. (2009). The rhythm of rapport: Interpersonal synchrony and social perception. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 45(3), 585–589.Google Scholar
  39. Mohr, G., Rigotti, T., & Müller, A. (2005). Irritation – ein Instrument zur Erfassung psychischer Beanspruchung im Arbeitskontext. Skalen- und Itemparameter aus 15 Studien. Zeitschrift für Arbeits- und Organisationspsychologie, 49(1), 44–48.Google Scholar
  40. Morgan, R. B., & Casper, W. J. (2000). Examining the factor structure of participant reactions to training: A multidimensional approach. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 11(3), 301–317.Google Scholar
  41. Mothes, H., Klaperski, S., Seelig, H., Schmidt, S., & Fuchs, R. (2014). Regular aerobic exercise increases dispositional mindfulness in men: A randomized controlled trial. Mental Health and Physical Activity, 7(2), 111–119.Google Scholar
  42. Mucci, N., Giorgi, G., Roncaioli, M., Fiz Perez, J., & Arcangeli, G. (2016). The correlation between stress and economic crisis: A systematic review. Neuropsychiatric Disease and Treatment, 12, 983–993.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  43. Myers, D. G. (2000). The funds, friends, and faith of happy people. American Psychologist, 55(1), 56–67.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  44. Nummenmaa, L., Manninen, S., Tuominen, L., Hirvonen, J., Kalliokoski, K. K., Nuutila, P., et al. (2015). Adult attachment style is associated with cerebral mu-opioid receptor availability in humans. Human Brain Mapping, 36(9), 3621–3628.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. Paladino, M.-P., Mazzurega, M., Pavani, F., & Schubert, T. W. (2010). Synchronous multisensory stimulation blurs self-other boundaries. Psychological Science, 21(9), 1202–1207.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  46. Páez, D., Rimé, B., Basabe, N., Wlodarczyk, A., & Zumeta, L. (2015). Psychosocial effects of perceived emotional synchrony in collective gatherings. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108(5), 711–729.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  47. Reagans, R., & McEvily, B. (2003). Network structure and knowledge transfer: The effects of cohesion and range. Administrative Science Quarterly, 48(2), 240–267.Google Scholar
  48. Reddish, P., Bulbulia, J., & Fischer, R. (2013a). Does synchrony promote generalized prosociality? Religion, Brain & Behavior, 4(1), 3–19.Google Scholar
  49. Reddish, P., Fischer, R., & Bulbulia, J. (2013b). Let’s dance together: Synchrony, shared intentionality and cooperation. PLoS ONE, 8(8), e71182.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  50. Rennung, M., & Göritz, A. S. (2015). Facing sorrow as a group unites. Facing sorrow in a group divides. PLoS ONE, 10(9), e136750.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  51. Rennung, M., & Göritz, A. S. (2016). Prosocial consequences of interpersonal synchrony: A meta-analysis. Zeitschrift für Psychologie, 224(3), 168–189.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  52. Rennung, M., & Göritz, A. S. (2017). Die Wirkung organisationaler Rituale – Eine qualitative Interviewstudie. Gruppe. Interaktion. Organisation. Zeitschrift für Angewandte Organisationspsychologie, 48(4), 327–338.Google Scholar
  53. Roumois, U. H. (2007). Studienbuch Wissensmanagement (3rd edn.). Zürich: Orell Füssli.Google Scholar
  54. Schaufeli, W. B., Bakker, A. B., & van Rhenen, W. (2009). How changes in job demands and resources predict burnout, work engagement, and sickness absenteeism. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 30(7), 893–917.Google Scholar
  55. Steel, R. P. (2003). Methodological and operational issues in the construction of absence variables. Human Resource Management Review, 13, 243–251.Google Scholar
  56. Tarr, B., Launay, J., Cohen, E., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2015). Synchrony and exertion during dance independently raise pain threshold and encourage social bonding. Biology Letters, 11(10), 20150767.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  57. Tarr, B., Launay, J., & Dunbar, R. I. M. (2016). Silent disco: Dancing in synchrony leads to elevated pain thresholds and social closeness. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37(5), 343–349.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  58. Tunçgenç, B., & Cohen, E. (2016). Movement synchrony forges social bonds across group divides. Frontiers in Psychology, 7, 782.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  59. Ulich, E., & Wülser, M. (2012). Gesundheitsmanagement in Unternehmen. Wiesbaden: Springer.Google Scholar
  60. Vacharkulksemsuk, T., & Fredrickson, B. L. (2012). Strangers in sync: Achieving embodied rapport through shared movements. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(1), 399–402.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  61. Valdesolo, P., & DeSteno, D. (2011). Synchrony and the social tuning of compassion. Emotion, 11(2), 262–266.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  62. Valdesolo, P., Ouyang, J., & DeSteno, D. (2010). The rhythm of joint action: Synchrony promotes cooperative ability. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(4), 693–695.Google Scholar
  63. Wachi, M., Koyama, M., Utsuyama, M., Bittman, B. B., Kitagawa, M., & Hirokawa, K. (2007). Recreational music-making modulates natural killer cell activity, cytokines, and mood states in corporate employees. Medical Science Monitor, 13(2), 57–70.Google Scholar
  64. Wang, E. T., Ying, T.-C., Jiang, J. J., & Klein, G. (2006). Group cohesion in organizational innovation: An empirical examination of ERP implementation. Information and Software Technology, 48(4), 235–244.Google Scholar
  65. Watson-Jones, R. E., & Legare, C. H. (2016). The social functions of group rituals. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 25(1), 42–46.Google Scholar
  66. Weinstein, D., Launay, J., Pearce, E., Dunbar, R. I. M., & Stewart, L. (2016). Singing and social bonding: Changes in connectivity and pain threshold as a function of group size. Evolution and Human Behavior, 37(2), 152–158.PubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  67. Wiltermuth, S. S. (2012a). Synchrony and destructive obedience. Social Influence, 7(2), 78–89.Google Scholar
  68. Wiltermuth, S. S. (2012b). Synchronous activity boosts compliance with requests to aggress. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(1), 453–456.Google Scholar
  69. Wiltermuth, S. S., & Heath, C. (2009). Synchrony and cooperation. Psychological Science, 20(1), 1–5.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  70. Yeager, K. L., & Nafukho, F. M. (2012). Developing diverse teams to improve performance in the organizational setting. European Journal of Training and Development, 36(4), 388–408.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden GmbH, ein Teil von Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Occupational and Consumer PsychologyUniversity of FreiburgFreiburgGermany
  2. 2.WirtschaftspsychologieFreiburgGermany

Personalised recommendations