How Do Different Types of Alignment Affect Perceived Entity Status?


Perceptions of entitativity are thought to be influenced by salient features such as the physical proximity and physical similarity of group members (Campbell in Behav Sci 3:14–25, 1958). But social interactions among group members involve a number of low-level alignment (Pickering and Garrod in Behav Brain Sci 27:212–225, 2004) and synchronization (Marsh et al. in Top Cogn Sci 1:320–339, 2009) processes. Conversational partners, for instance, become aligned in syntax, semantics, emotion, and bodily posture. In this paper, we explore whether alignment correlates with observers’ judgments of entitativity, and, moreover, which specific forms of alignment have the strongest effects on these judgments. Results revealed that only emotional alignment had on effect on judgments of entitativity. We discuss how future work may further assess the role of various dimensions in shaping the perception of group status in linguistic interaction.

Publication Title

Journal of Psycholinguistic Research