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Many instances of large-scale coordination occur in real-life social situations without the explicit awareness of the individuals involved. While the majority of research to date has examined dyadic interactions - those between two individuals - during intentional or deliberate coordination, the present review surveys the handful of recent studies investigating behavioral and physiological synchrony across groups of more than two people when coordination was not an explicit goal. Both minimal (e.g., visual information, shared location) and naturalistic (e.g., choir voice section, family relationship) group interactions appear to promote unintentional group synchrony although they have so far only been studied separately. State differences in unintentional group synchrony, or the relative presence of coordination in various conditions, have tended to be assessed differently, such as using correlation-type relationships, compared to its temporal dynamics, or changes over time in the degree of coordination, which appear to be best captured using phase differences. Simultaneously evaluating behavioral, physiological, and social responses as well systematically comparing different synchrony measures could further our understanding of the influences on and measures of group synchrony, allowing us to move away from studying individual persons responding to static laboratory stimuli and toward investigating collective experiences in natural, dynamic social interactions.

Original publication




Journal article


Front Psychol

Publication Date





collective experience, group processes, group synchrony, interpersonal coordination, social interaction