The Science of Synchronized Movement
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Moving in sync with someone else — even a total stranger — can change how you feel about them, and how you act, without you realizing it. Episode summary: When was the last time you moved in sync with someone else? Dancing, exercising, even just walking in step — for some, it comes easily, for others, it’s a challenge. But can moving to the same beat make all of us kinder to one another? This week, our guest Chris Duffy steps out of his comfort zone to try a practice in Body Music, rhythmically making sounds just by tapping your body, with body percussionist Keith Terry. Later, we learn how tapping in sync with someone else tricks you into thinking you have more in common with them, and can make you more inclined to help them. Practice: To start, stand up. Clap your hands together in front of your chest, then tap your left palm to your right chest, then right hand to your left chest. Repeat at a steady cadence. Next, cap your hands together in front of your chest, then tap your left hand to your right chest, then right hand to your left chest, the right hand to top of your right thigh, then left hand to left thigh. Repeat at a steady cadence. You can add on by tapping your right hand to your right buttocks and left hand to left buttocks after you finish tapping both thighs in step 2. Repeat (including all of step 2) at a steady cadence. To add even more complexity, stomp each foot one at a time after completing all of step 3. Repeat at a steady cadence. Check out a video of body percussionist Keith Terry performing this practice (and try it with a friend!): Today’s guests: Chris Duffy is a comedian, writer, and host of the TED podcast How to Be A Better Human. Listen to Chris’s podcast, How to Be a Better Human: Follow Chris on Instagram: Follow Chris on Facebook: Check out Chris’s comedy: Keith Terry is a body percussionist and creator of the Body Music practice Chris tried today. Learn more about Keith’s work: Check out one of Keith’s original compositions: Piercarlo Valdesolo  is a psychologist and Chair of Psychological Science at Claremont McKenna College in California. Learn more about Piercarolo’s work: Check out the Moral Emotions and Trust Lab: Resources from The Greater Good Science Center: How Music Bonds Us Together To Resolve Conflicts, Get Up and Move Five Ways Music Can Make You a Better Person How to Train the Compassionate Brain More Resources on Synchronized Movement PRX - Body Music with Keith Terry Scientific American - Moving in Sync Creates Surprising Social Bonds among People Oxford University - Let’s dance: synchronised movement helps us tolerate pain and foster friendship Science Daily - Social Synchronicity Tell us about your experiences and struggles with body music or moving in sync. Email us at [email protected] or use the hashtag #happinesspod. Help us share The Science of Happiness! Leave us a 5-star review on Apple Podcasts or share this link with someone who might like the show:
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