When infants and children affiliate with others, certain cues may direct their social efforts to “better” social partners. Interpersonal synchrony, or when two or more people move together in time, can be one such cue. In adults, experiencing interpersonal synchrony encourages affiliative behaviors. Recent studies have found that these effects also influence early prosociality – for example, 14-month-olds help a synchronous partner more than an asynchronous partner. These effects on helping are specifically directed to the synchronous movement partner and members of that person’s social group. In older children, the prosocial effects of interpersonal synchrony may even cross group divides. How synchrony and other cues for group membership influence early prosociality is a promising avenue for future research.
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