Researchers studying the role of music in human evolution and the role of music in everyday life suggest that music helps to promote social bonding. However, there is limited direct evidence to support this idea. The current experiment investigated the role of different pieces of music in the perceived social bonding of videotaped walkers. The participants watched one of two videos of three women walking away from the camera. In one video the women walked in synchrony and in the other the women were out of step with each other. Participants rated the perceived degree of rapport and entitativity among the three walkers. In each run of the experiment a different piece of music was paired with the videos for half the participants. Both music and synchrony of walkers influenced the perceived degree of entitativity. Even though there was no indication that the actors in the video heard the music, observers perceived that a social bond existed among the walkers when the music was present.
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Edelman, L.L., Harring, K.E. Music and Social Bonding: The Role of Non-Diegetic Music and Synchrony on Perceptions of Videotaped Walkers. Curr Psychol 34, 613–620 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12144-014-9273-y
- Social bonding