Methodological issues in studying interaction synchronicity
The main research approaches of the behavioral phenomena of interactional synchrony will be outlined in the paper. These phenomena have been traditionally studied by the time and energy consuming microanalytical methods, the value of which has been proved by extensive research, but have been criticized since the end of the 80's not only because of practical reasons, but because of their reductionism and elementarism. A new method that is based on the Gestalt-like judgments of untrained persons has been worked out as an alternative of microanalytical methods. The reliability and validity results of this Gestalt method are promising: the new method may be a possible supplement to or even substitute for the microanalytical methods. To test the relationships between the microanalytic and Gestalt data is one of the most fundamental problems pertaining to the validity of the Gestalt method. Ascertaining the controversial connections among the Gestalt data, and that of rapport, expressivity, and smiling, is a most important task for future research.
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