Dr. Liam Cross.jpg


Dr. Liam Cross is currently a lecturer at Edge Hill University in the UK. He has previously worked at Leeds Beckett, Lancaster, Buckingham and the Open University in the UK, as well as Sunway University in Malaysia and Central European University. He has published various papers on the topic of interpersonal entrainment in journals including the Journal of Social Psychology, Acta Psychologica and PlosOne, as well as written about the subject in other outlets such as the Psychologist and the Conversation.



Birds flock, fish school, dolphins surface, fireflies flash and crabs wave, all in coordinated ways. They are not the only ones; we all regularly move in time with one too. We sing dance and even walk together in coordinated ways with those around us. This ubiquity of entrainment suggests it may have once served some evoloutionary purpose.
Theories concerning the adaptive advantages entrainment may have offered our early ancestors all share one theme, that they helped individuals maintain and recognize groups, and facilitated various processes amongst and between groups. This talk will explore the evidence for this across work in psychology and cognitive science in the last few decades studying the socio-emotional consequences of entrainment.
A great deal of work has now shown that moving in time together has a plethora of socio-emotional consequences. Amongst other things moving in time can lead us to like each more, cooperate more, and even conform to each other more. The various implications of moving together in time are also seen as a consequence of viewing each other as common group members.
In this talk, I will discuss four empirical studies that evaluate if and how entrainment may relate to group identification and formation, if this may be a mechanism for entrainments socio-emotional consequences, and if entrainment could be a useful tool for fostering better relationships between disenfranchised groups.