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Behav. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 1 (January 2020) – 39 articles
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Cover Story (view full-size image) Sometimes we feel as though our mental states are “in sync” with other people, but why does it [...] Read more. Sometimes we feel as though our mental states are “in sync” with other people, but why does it happen? Is it just an effect of experiencing the same external factors or is there “something” unique that happens in being together? We approach these questions by analyzing the synchrony of the heart rate variability response of non-interacting pairs of strangers, companions, and romantic partners to a series of video clips designed to elicit different emotions. In analyzing the data, we aimed to discriminate between the contribution of the stimulus (task-driven synchrony) and the unique effects of co-presence. Overall, we found that synchrony happens independently of the type of relationship, but co-presence effects are mostly found in strangers. Somewhat unexpectedly, these findings suggest that an existing social relationship might reduce the predisposition to conform one’s autonomic responses to a partner. View this paper