Interpersonal Fluency: Toward a Model of Coordination and Affect in Social Relations

  • Wojciech Kulesza
  • Robin R. Vallacher
  • Andrzej Nowak
Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)


This chapter investigates the role of interpersonal coordination in promoting positive affect in social interaction. We propose that coordination in the successful pursuit of a goal increases positive affect which in turn strengthens those social ties for maintaining relationships that are characteristic of effective coordination. In two experiments, participants performed a virtual task on a computer in tandem with a virtual co-actor, whose behavior was generated by a computer program. In Experiment 1, successful performance on a complex task required behavior coordination. In Experiment 2, behavioral coordination was manipulated independently of successful performance. Results showed that behavioral coordination promotes liking (Experiment 1) and that this effect is manifest under success but not failure (Experiment 2). Discussion centers on the adaptive value of behavioral and emotional coordination, the link between coordination and other psychological processes, and the conditions that promote rather than hinder the attainment of such interaction fluency.


Positive Affect Goal Attainment High Coordination Cumulative Score Movement Coordination 
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Authors and Affiliations

  • Wojciech Kulesza
    • 1
  • Robin R. Vallacher
    • 2
  • Andrzej Nowak
    • 3
  1. 1.Warsaw School of Social Sciences and HumanitiesWarsawPoland
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlorida Atlantic UniversityBoca RatonUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyUniversity of WarsawWarsawPoland

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