Measuring group synchrony: a cluster-phase method for analyzing multivariate movement time-series

Michael J. Richardson, Randi L. Garcia, Till D. Frank, Madison Gergor, Kerry L. Marsh

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71 Citations (Scopus)
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A new method for assessing group synchrony is introduced as being potentially useful for objectively determining degree of group cohesiveness or entitativity. The cluster-phase method of Frank and Richardson (2010) was used to analyze movement data from the rocking chair movements of six-member groups who rocked their chairs while seated in a circle facing the center. In some trials group members had no information about others' movements (their eyes were shut) or they had their eyes open and gazed at a marker in the center of the group. As predicted, the group level synchrony measure was able to distinguish between situations where synchrony would have been possible and situations where it would be impossible. Moreover, other aspects of the analysis illustrated how the cluster phase measures can be used to determine the type of patterning of group synchrony, and, when integrated with multi-level modeling, can be used to examine individual-level differences in synchrony and dyadic level synchrony as well.
Original languageEnglish
Article number405
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2012. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • cluster phase method
  • group synchrony
  • interpersonal coordination
  • group processes
  • multivariate analysis


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