, Volume 75, Issue 2, pp 351–372 | Cite as

Exploring the Dynamics of Dyadic Interactions via Hierarchical Segmentation

  • Fushing Hsieh
  • Emilio FerrerEmail author
  • Shu-Chun Chen
  • Sy-Miin Chow
Open Access


In this article we present an exploratory tool for extracting systematic patterns from multivariate data. The technique, hierarchical segmentation (HS), can be used to group multivariate time series into segments with similar discrete-state recurrence patterns and it is not restricted by the stationarity assumption. We use a simulation study to describe the steps and properties of HS. We then use empirical data on daily affect from one couple to illustrate the use of HS for describing the affective dynamics of the dyad. First, we partition the data into three periods that represent different affective states and show different dynamics between both individuals’ affect. We then examine the synchrony between both individuals’ affective states and identify different patterns of coherence across the periods. Finally, we discuss the possibilities of using results from HS to construct confirmatory dynamic models with multiple change points or regime-specific dynamics.


dynamic systems multivariate analysis exploratory data analysis dyadic interactions 


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Copyright information

© The Psychometric Society 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fushing Hsieh
    • 1
  • Emilio Ferrer
    • 2
    Email author
  • Shu-Chun Chen
    • 1
  • Sy-Miin Chow
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of StatisticsUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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