Interpersonal Coevolution of Body Movements in Daily Face-to-Face Communication

Taiki OGATA  Naoki HIGO  Takayuki NOZAWA  Eisuke ONO  Kazuo YANO  Koji ARA  Yoshihiro MIYAKE  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E100-D   No.10   pp.2547-2555
Publication Date: 2017/10/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2016EDP7444
Type of Manuscript: PAPER
Category: Human-computer Interaction
face-to-face contact,  body movement,  daily communication,  minute-time-scale,  coevolution,  

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People's body movements in daily face-to-face communication influence each other. For instance, during a heated debate, the participants use more gestures and other body movements, while in a calm discussion they use fewer gestures. This “coevolution” of interpersonal body movements occurs on multiple time scales, like minutes or hours. However, the multi-time-scale coevolution in daily communication is not clear yet. In this paper, we explore the minute-to-minute coevolution of interpersonal body movements in daily communication and investigate the characteristics of this coevolution. We present quantitative data on upper-body movements from thousand test subjects from seven organizations gathered over several months via wearable sensors. The device we employed measured upper-body movements with an accelerometer and the duration of face-to-face communication with an infrared ray sensor on a minute-by-minute basis. We defined a coevolution measure between two people as the number of per-minute changes of their body movement and compared the indices for face-to-face and non-face-to-face situations. We found that on average, the amount of people's body movements changed correspondingly for face-to-face communication and that the average rate of coevolution in the case of face-to-face communication was 3-4% higher than in the case of non-face-to-face situation. These results reveal minute-to-minute coevolution of upper-body movements between people in daily communication. The finding suggests that the coevolution of body movement arises in multiple time scales.