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Behav. Sci., Volume 10, Issue 9 (September 2020) – 15 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): This paper describes how participants coordinate their movement behavior in relation to a virtual crowd that surrounds them. The participants were immersed in a virtual metropolitan city and were instructed to cross the road and reach the opposite sidewalk. Several measurements were obtained to evaluate human movement coordination. Significant differences between the movement behaviors of the participants and the simulated characters were found. Moreover, simple linear regression analyses indicated that the movement behavior of participants was moderately associated with the simulated characters' movements when performing a locomotive task within a virtual crowd population. This study can be considered as a baseline for further research that evaluates the movement coordination of participants during human–virtual crowd interactions using measurements obtained by the simulated [...] Read more.
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Review
Variables and Mechanisms Affecting Response to Language Treatment in Multilingual People with Aphasia
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 144; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090144 - 22 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1234
Abstract
Background: Despite substantial literature exploring language treatment effects in multilingual people with aphasia (PWA), inconsistent results reported across studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Methods: We highlight and illustrate variables that have been implicated in affecting cross-language treatment effects in multilingual [...] Read more.
Background: Despite substantial literature exploring language treatment effects in multilingual people with aphasia (PWA), inconsistent results reported across studies make it difficult to draw firm conclusions. Methods: We highlight and illustrate variables that have been implicated in affecting cross-language treatment effects in multilingual PWA. Main contribution: We argue that opposing effects of activation and inhibition across languages, influenced by pertinent variables, such as age of language acquisition, patterns of language use, and treatment-related factors, contribute to the complex picture that has emerged from current studies of treatment in multilingual PWA. We propose a new integrated model—Treatment Effects in Aphasia in Multilingual people (the TEAM model)—to capture this complexity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bilingual Aphasia)
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Article
Competence and Benevolence as Dimensions of Trust: Lecturers’ Trustworthiness in the Words of Italian Students
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 143; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090143 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 916
Abstract
Trustworthiness includes at least two dimensions: one dimension captures the authority’s benevolence; the other captures authority’s competence. This qualitative study explores the representation of the two dimensions of authority trustworthiness: competence and benevolence. We collected free-associations about what lecturers’ competence and benevolence actually [...] Read more.
Trustworthiness includes at least two dimensions: one dimension captures the authority’s benevolence; the other captures authority’s competence. This qualitative study explores the representation of the two dimensions of authority trustworthiness: competence and benevolence. We collected free-associations about what lecturers’ competence and benevolence actually mean for Italian psychology students (n = 125). The data corpus was content-analyzed. Text units were categorized according to meaning using both a bottom-up strategy, with some categories stemming from the data (inductive reasoning), and a top-down strategy, with some categories following from the analysis of the relevant literature (deductive reasoning). Qualitative content analysis showed that these two dimensions overlapped. Students listed theoretically-defined competence characteristics as indications of both benevolence and competence. The same applied to benevolence. Overall, associations were grouped into two main dimensions: (1) the “can-do” dimension, describing a lecturer’s competence and social skill; (2) the “will-do” dimension, describing a lecturer’s good intentions, integrity, and personal motivation. In conclusion, the two conceptually distinct dimensions of trust are indistinguishable in the students’ words. These preliminary results are in line with scholars debating the multifactorial or mono-factorial nature of trust. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Educational Psychology)
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Article
The Mediator Role of Body Image-Related Cognitive Fusion in the Relationship between Disease Severity Perception, Acceptance and Psoriasis Disability
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 142; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090142 - 19 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1368
Abstract
Psoriasis is a long-term skin disorder without a cure, whose patients are particularly susceptible to mental health diseases. Using a sample of patients diagnosed with psoriasis, this study aimed to: (1) identify the clinical and positive psychological variables that contribute the most to [...] Read more.
Psoriasis is a long-term skin disorder without a cure, whose patients are particularly susceptible to mental health diseases. Using a sample of patients diagnosed with psoriasis, this study aimed to: (1) identify the clinical and positive psychological variables that contribute the most to psoriasis disability and (2) assess the mediator role of body image-related cognitive fusion in the relation between disease severity perception and acceptance and self-compassion, on one hand, and psoriasis disability on the other. This is an initial cross-sectional exploratory study, with 75 patients diagnosed with psoriasis (males 52%; mean age 54.99 ± 13.72) answering a sociodemographic and a clinical questionnaire, the Psoriasis Disability Index (PDI), the Cognitive Fusion Questionnaire—Body Image (CFQ-BI), the Acceptance and Action Questionnaire—II (AAQ-II), and the Self-Compassion Scale (SCS). Descriptive and inferential statistics were used to characterize and assess the measures and the final model used. Through path analysis and a hierarchical multiple linear regression, it was found that the variables that significantly contributed to psoriasis disability were years of education, impact on social life and body image, explaining 70% of the variance. Body image-related cognitive fusion was a significant mediator in the relationship between disease severity and acceptance, and psoriasis disability. The implications of this study are considered to be extremely relevant, since it will allow additional information to be provided to psoriasis patients, appropriated to their educational level, aiming to reduce distorted perceptions of disease severity and intervene in the ability to accept this specific and important chronic health condition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Health Psychology)
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Article
Voluntary Language Switching in the Context of Bilingual Aphasia
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 141; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090141 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1485
Abstract
As studies of bilingual language control (BLC) seek to explore the underpinnings of bilinguals’ abilities to juggle two languages, different types of language switching tasks have been used to uncover switching and mixing effects and thereby reveal what proactive and reactive control mechanisms [...] Read more.
As studies of bilingual language control (BLC) seek to explore the underpinnings of bilinguals’ abilities to juggle two languages, different types of language switching tasks have been used to uncover switching and mixing effects and thereby reveal what proactive and reactive control mechanisms are involved in language switching. Voluntary language switching tasks, where a bilingual participant can switch freely between their languages while naming, are being utilized more often due to their greater ecological validity compared to cued switching paradigms. Because this type of task had not yet been applied to language switching in bilingual patients, our study sought to explore voluntary switching in bilinguals with aphasia (BWAs) as well as in healthy bilinguals. In Experiment 1, we replicated previously reported results of switch costs and mixing benefits within our own bilingual population of Catalan-Spanish bilinguals. With Experiment 2, we compared both the performances of BWAs as a group and as individuals against control group performance. Results illustrated a complex picture of language control abilities, indicating varying degrees of association and dissociation between factors of BLC. Given the diversity of impairments in BWAs’ language control mechanisms, we highlight the need to examine BLC at the individual level and through the lens of theoretical cognitive control frameworks in order to further parse out how bilinguals regulate their language switching. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bilingual Aphasia)
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Article
A Time-Lagged Examination of the Greenhaus and Allen Work-Family Balance Model
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090140 - 18 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1089
Abstract
The work-family interface is a compelling topic that calls into question labor market dynamics and work processes, together with important social and family composition changes. The present study aimed at examining the antecedents of Work-Family Balance (WFB) in Italy consistent with Greenhaus and [...] Read more.
The work-family interface is a compelling topic that calls into question labor market dynamics and work processes, together with important social and family composition changes. The present study aimed at examining the antecedents of Work-Family Balance (WFB) in Italy consistent with Greenhaus and Allen’s (2011) conceptual model in which the characteristics of work and family roles have an indirect impact on work-family balance through Work-Family Conflict (WFC) and Work-Family Enrichment (WFE), and where job and family satisfaction are considered as predictors of WFB. A total of 568 workers participated in a time-lagged correlational study, filling a questionnaire. The theoretical model was tested by assessing the mediating role of job and family satisfaction as well as related antecedents, conflict, and enrichment between the family and work contexts, through Structural Equation Modeling (SEM). The results partially confirmed the theoretical model: work-to-family enrichment and work-to-family conflict predicted family satisfaction, which also mediated their association with WFB. The results in the family-to-work direction did not support the initial research hypotheses. The hypotheses about associations between demands and resources, conflict and enrichment in both directions, and of the moderating role of core self-evaluations were partially confirmed. The results highlighted that organizations need to carry out periodic assessments of WFC and WFE, in order to provide benefits and resources, to reduce conflict, and increase enrichment, through proper interventions (training activities, professional development, mentoring, and forms of flexibility). Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Organizational Behaviors)
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Article
Exploring Beliefs about Aging and Faith: Development of the Judeo-Christian Religious Beliefs and Aging Scale
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090139 - 15 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 943
Abstract
This paper reports on the development of a novel 10-item scale that measures beliefs about aging as well as religious-based beliefs about aging. The Religious Beliefs and Aging Scale (RBAS) shows acceptable internal consistency (α = 0.74) and is bolstered by a strong [...] Read more.
This paper reports on the development of a novel 10-item scale that measures beliefs about aging as well as religious-based beliefs about aging. The Religious Beliefs and Aging Scale (RBAS) shows acceptable internal consistency (α = 0.74) and is bolstered by a strong correlation (r = 0.70) with the Brief Multidimensional Measure of Religiousness/Spirituality. Exploratory factor analysis elucidated two belief subscales: Afterlife (i.e., how age is experienced in the afterlife; α = 0.897) and Punishment (i.e., aging and dementia as a punishment for sin; α = 0.868). This scale can be used in research regarding end-of-life planning, ageism, and self-care practices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Psychology)
Article
Promoting Individual and Organizational OCBs: The Mediating Role of Work Engagement
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090138 - 14 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 954
Abstract
In today’s dynamic organizational environment, employees with a tendency to display discretional behaviors beyond their prescribed formal job duties represent a plus. Underpinned by the theories of social exchange and conservation of resources, these behaviors can be influenced by their level of job [...] Read more.
In today’s dynamic organizational environment, employees with a tendency to display discretional behaviors beyond their prescribed formal job duties represent a plus. Underpinned by the theories of social exchange and conservation of resources, these behaviors can be influenced by their level of job satisfaction (JS), defined as the extent to which employees like their work, and work engagement (WE), defined as a positive work-related state of mind. The present study investigates the mediating mechanism of WE in the relationship between JS and organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs), which refer to discretionary behaviors that could benefit an organization (OCBs-O) and/or its members (OCBs-I). The mediational hypothesis is examined using structural equation modeling (SEM) among 719 Italian private and public sector employees. The significance of total, direct, and indirect effects was tested via bootstrapping. The results showed that JS was positively related to WE, which, in turn, was positively related to both OCBs-I and OCBs-O. The SEM results supported the hypotheses: WE fully mediated the relationship between JS and OCBs-I, and it partially mediated the relationship between JS and OCBs-O. This study sheds new light on this mechanism. Consequently, it is useful for HRM policy. It also helps us to better understand how satisfied and engaged employees are willing to adopt positive organizational behaviors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Burnout, Perceived Efficacy, and Job Satisfaction)
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Review
A Review on the Role of the Neuroscience of Flow States in the Modern World
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090137 - 09 Sep 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1968
Abstract
Flow states have been shown to help people reach peak performance, yet this elusive state is not easily attained. The review describes the current state of literature on flow by addressing the environmental influences as well as the cognitive and neurocognitive elements that [...] Read more.
Flow states have been shown to help people reach peak performance, yet this elusive state is not easily attained. The review describes the current state of literature on flow by addressing the environmental influences as well as the cognitive and neurocognitive elements that underlie the experience. In particular, the research focusses on the transition of cognitive control from an explicit to an implicit process. This is further expanded upon to look at the current, yet related neurocognitive research of high performance associated with the implicit process of automaticity. Finally, the review focusses on transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) as a novel method to facilitates an induction of flow states. Implications are aimed at a general technique to improve on skill acquisition and overall performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Cognition)
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Article
Attitudes and Approaches to Use of Meal Replacement Products among Healthcare Professionals in Management of Excess Weight
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090136 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1588
Abstract
Meal replacement product-based diets are an effective weight loss intervention used in the management of obesity. Historically, these diets have been underutilised by HealthCare Professionals (HCPs). An online survey of mixed methods design was distributed to HCPs to capture current perceptions and prescribing [...] Read more.
Meal replacement product-based diets are an effective weight loss intervention used in the management of obesity. Historically, these diets have been underutilised by HealthCare Professionals (HCPs). An online survey of mixed methods design was distributed to HCPs to capture current perceptions and prescribing patterns of meal replacement products (MRPs) in the management of overweight and obesity. A total of 303 HCPs working in weight management across Australia began the survey and 197 (65%) completed it. While over 70% of HCPs have prescribed MRP currently or in the past, MRPs are only prescribed to a median 7% of patients seeking weight management treatment. Qualitative analysis identified potential barriers to MRP prescription, which include experience with patient non-compliance, perceived poor long-term weight loss durability and safety concerns regarding the product and its use as a total meal replacement program. Safety concerns are centred on the perceived risk of weight cycling and its potential negative psychological impact. MRP prescription is 66% more likely to occur if HCPs had formal training in the use of MRPs relative to those who did not, with a relative risk (RR) of 1.7 (95% CI 1.4, 2.0). This study highlights the potential barriers to the prescription of MRPs, which are centred around safety concerns. This also indicates that formal training may enhance the likelihood of prescribing MRPs, suggesting that once HCPs have a comprehensive understanding of the products and the evidence behind their use, their prescription is likely to be increased. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders)
Article
Role of Metacognition Thinking and Psychological Traits in Breast Cancer Survivorship
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090135 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1216
Abstract
Longer survivorship is possible due to advances enabling early detection and treatment. However, cancer survivors are faced with prognostic uncertainty regarding survival, long-term symptoms, surveillance, and consequences of treatment. This study aimed at investigating emotional traits of women after breast cancer (BC) diagnosis [...] Read more.
Longer survivorship is possible due to advances enabling early detection and treatment. However, cancer survivors are faced with prognostic uncertainty regarding survival, long-term symptoms, surveillance, and consequences of treatment. This study aimed at investigating emotional traits of women after breast cancer (BC) diagnosis from a three-year perspective of the disease. We intended to examine the emotional trend within longer survivorship after the primary treatment for BC. A sample of 72 women diagnosed with breast cancer (age range 30–55 years) was evaluated based on metacognition (Metacognitive Questionnaire—30 test), psychological distress (Psychological Distress Inventory test), anxiety, stress, and depression (Depression, Anxiety and Stress Scale—21 test). The data analysis applied was descriptive analysis, ANOVA, MANOVA, and ANCOVA comparing MCQ-30 variables and psychological traits (PDI, DASS-21). The results indicated positive recovery after primary care despite emotional fragility in survivorship owing to negative thoughts; correlations among metacognitive factors, anxiety, and distress not only confirmed the negative emotional pattern just after primary care, but also showed women regaining a positive emotional pattern in daily life. The survivors exhibited emotional fragility during certain specific points of time during the course of their survivorship. Based on our findings, the fear of recurrence and cancer-specific psychological treatment is a better framework to boost and improve clinical practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders)
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Article
Jealousy Incarnate: Quiet Ego, Competitive Desire, and the Fictional Intelligence of Long-Term Mating in a Romantic K-Drama
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090134 - 03 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1522
Abstract
In this paper, we analyze a K-drama aired by the Korean TV network SBS in 2016, Jealousy Incarnate, as a case study of the application of the Tie-Up Theory to a romantic narrative as a form of simulation of human mating processes [...] Read more.
In this paper, we analyze a K-drama aired by the Korean TV network SBS in 2016, Jealousy Incarnate, as a case study of the application of the Tie-Up Theory to a romantic narrative as a form of simulation of human mating processes with social cognition valence. We find that this case provides us with an example of a mating process where the choice of the male partner by the female lead character does not privilege the one that should be preferable on the basis of the standard prediction of the experimental research on human mating. This discrepancy is a signal of a basic limitation of experimental research, that highlights the subjects’ preferences for abstract potential partners but is not able to fully account for the mechanisms that lead to the choice of a specific partner in a specific mating interaction. We argue that the narrative simulation viewpoint provides insights that are complementary to those of experimental research, and that a more comprehensive theoretical approach, such as the one offered by the Tie-Up Theory, may be helpful to account for both perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Social Psychology)
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Article
Social Cognition and Socioecological Predictors of Home-Based Physical Activity Intentions, Planning, and Habits during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090133 - 31 Aug 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 2932
Abstract
‘Shelter in place’ and ‘lockdown’ orders implemented to minimize the spread of COVID-19 have reduced opportunities to be physically active. For many, the home environment emerged as the only viable option to participate in physical activity. Previous research suggests that availability of exercise [...] Read more.
‘Shelter in place’ and ‘lockdown’ orders implemented to minimize the spread of COVID-19 have reduced opportunities to be physically active. For many, the home environment emerged as the only viable option to participate in physical activity. Previous research suggests that availability of exercise equipment functions as a determinant of home-based physical activity participation among the general adult population. The purpose of this study was to use a socioecological framework to investigate how the availability of exercise equipment at home predicts behavioral decisions, namely, intention, planning, and habits with respect to participation in physical activity. Participants (n = 429) were adults recruited in U.S. states subject to lockdown orders during the pandemic who completed measures online. A structural equation model indicated that availability of cardiovascular and strength training equipment predicted physical activity planning. Social cognition constructs mediated the relationship between each type of exercise equipment and intentions. Autonomous motivation and perceived behavioral control were found to mediate the relationship between each type of exercise equipment and habit. The availability of large cardiovascular and strength training equipment demonstrated significant predictive effects with intention, planning, habit, and autonomous motivation. Facilitating these constructs for home-based physical activity interventions could be efficacious for promoting physical activity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Health Behavior Change: Theories, Methods, and Interventions)
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Review
Exploring Language Learning as a Potential Tool against Cognitive Impairment in Late-Life Depression: Two Meta-Analyses and Suggestions for Future Research
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090132 - 31 Aug 2020
Viewed by 2369
Abstract
Late-life depression (LLD) affects about an eighth of community-dwelling seniors. LLD impacts well-being, with loneliness and small social networks being typical. It has also been linked to cognitive dysfunction and an increased risk of developing dementia. Safety and efficacy of pharmacological treatments for [...] Read more.
Late-life depression (LLD) affects about an eighth of community-dwelling seniors. LLD impacts well-being, with loneliness and small social networks being typical. It has also been linked to cognitive dysfunction and an increased risk of developing dementia. Safety and efficacy of pharmacological treatments for LLD have been debated, and cognitive dysfunction often persists even after remission. Various cognitive interventions have been proposed for LLD. Among these, one has received special attention: foreign language learning could serve as a social intervention that simultaneously targets brain structures affected in LLD. Lifelong bilingualism may significantly delay the onset of cognitive impairment symptoms by boosting cognitive reserve. Even late-life foreign language learning without lifelong bilingualism can train cognitive flexibility. It is then counterintuitive that the effects of language learning on LLD have never been examined. In order to create a theoretical basis for further interdisciplinary research, this paper presents a status quo of current work through two meta-analyses investigating cognitive functioning in LLD on the one hand and in senior bilinguals or seniors following a language course on the other hand. While LLD was consistently associated with cognitive dysfunction, inconsistent results were found for bilingualism and language learners. Possible reasons for this and suggestions for future research are subsequently discussed. Full article
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Article
Emotional Education in Early Onset Schizophrenia and Asperger’s Syndrome
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090131 - 29 Aug 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1510
Abstract
In this study, we aim to verify how emotional training can improve empathy and theory of mind (ToM) in patients diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia and Asperger’s syndrome. The study design includes 100 subjects divided into two experimental groups and two control groups. [...] Read more.
In this study, we aim to verify how emotional training can improve empathy and theory of mind (ToM) in patients diagnosed with early onset schizophrenia and Asperger’s syndrome. The study design includes 100 subjects divided into two experimental groups and two control groups. The two experimental groups followed a rational emotive behavior therapy (REBT) protocol. The two control groups instead underwent cognitive behavioral psychotherapy training. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was applied to analyze the difference between the Asperger’s syndrome (AS) and early onset schizophrenia (EOS) groups, pre and post training. Our analysis shows that the AS group improved post emotional training but only when emotions were internalized, as demonstrated by the improvement of the scores in the post-treatment eye test (ET) but not in the emotional quotient (EQ) test. The EOS group instead showed post-training improvement, not only concerning skills leading to internalizing emotions but also in empathy, as demonstrated by the improvement of EQ and Reflective Functioning Questionnaire (RFQ) test scores. These scores remained lower than in the control group. Finally, our findings reveal that the value of the treatment was more considerable for the EOS group than for the AS group due to the improvement in first- and second-order ToM skills and an improvement of empathic skills in the first group, followed by the group comprising AS subjects. In the AS group, the treatment only favored the enhancement of first-order ToM skills; however, this improved quality of life and social adaptation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Section Psychiatric, Emotional and Behavioral Disorders)
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Article
Evaluating Human Movement Coordination During Immersive Walking in a Virtual Crowd
Behav. Sci. 2020, 10(9), 130; https://doi.org/10.3390/bs10090130 - 27 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1065
Abstract
This paper describes our investigation on how participants coordinate movement behavior in relation to a virtual crowd that surrounds them while immersed in a virtual environment. The participants were immersed in a virtual metropolitan city and were instructed to cross the road and [...] Read more.
This paper describes our investigation on how participants coordinate movement behavior in relation to a virtual crowd that surrounds them while immersed in a virtual environment. The participants were immersed in a virtual metropolitan city and were instructed to cross the road and reach the opposite sidewalk. The participants performed the task ten times. The virtual crowd that surrounded them was scripted to move in the same direction. During the experiment, several measurements were obtained to evaluate human movement coordination. Moreover, the time and direction in which the participants started moving toward the opposite sidewalk were also captured. These data were later used to initialize the parameters of simulated characters that were scripted to become part of the virtual crowd. Measurements were extracted from the simulated characters and used as a baseline to evaluate the movement coordination of the participants. By analyzing the data, significant differences between the movement behaviors of the participants and the simulated characters were found. However, simple linear regression analyses indicated that the movement behavior of participants was moderately associated with the simulated characters’ movements when performing a locomotive task within a virtual crowd population. This study can be considered as a baseline for further research that evaluates the movement coordination of participants during human–virtual-crowd interactions using measurements obtained by the simulated characters. Full article
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