Synchronized movement experience enhances peer cooperation in preschool children

Tal Chen Rabinowitch, Andrew N. Meltzoff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cooperating with other people is a key achievement in child development and is essential for human culture. We examined whether we could induce 4-year-old children to increase their cooperation with an unfamiliar peer by providing the peers with synchronized motion experience prior to the tasks. Children were randomly assigned to independent treatment and control groups. The treatment of synchronous motion caused children to enhance their cooperation, as measured by the speed of joint task completion, compared with control groups that underwent asynchronous motion or no motion at all. Further analysis suggested that synchronization experience increased intentional communication between peer partners, resulting in increased coordination and cooperation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-32
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Child Psychology
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier Inc.


  • Children
  • Cooperation
  • Intention communication
  • Music
  • Peers
  • Prosocial
  • Social cognition
  • Synchrony

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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