Skip navigation

Being in a crowd bonds people via physiological synchrony

Being in a crowd bonds people via physiological synchrony

Baranowski-Pinto, G., Profeta, V. L. S., Newson, Martha ORCID: 0000-0001-7700-9562, Whitehouse, H. and Xygalatas, D. (2022) Being in a crowd bonds people via physiological synchrony. Scientific Reports, 12:613. pp. 1-10. ISSN 2045-2322 (Online) (doi:

PDF (Publisher VoR)
38805_NEWSON_Being_in_a_crowd_bonds_people_via_physiological_synchrony.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (2MB) | Preview


Collective events can generate intense emotions, shape group identities, and forge strong bonds. Do these effects extend to remote participation, and what are the psychological mechanisms underpinning their social power? We monitored psycho-physiological activity among groups of basketball fans who either attended games in-person (in a stadium) or watched games live on television in small groups. In-person attendance was associated with greater synchronicity in autonomic nervous system activation at the group level, which resulted in more transformative experiences and contributed to stronger identity fusion. Our findings suggest that the social effects of sports depend substantially on the inter-personal dynamics unfolding among fans, rather than being prompted simply by watching the game itself. Given the increasing prevalence of virtual experiences, this has potentially wide-reaching implications for many domains of collective human interaction.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: synchrony
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences
Faculty of Education, Health & Human Sciences > School of Human Sciences (HUM)
Last Modified: 17 Mar 2023 12:22

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics