Linguistic indicators of social dynamics in small groups
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This study attempts to explore the use of verbal synchrony as a possible indicator of social dynamics, including cohesiveness and task performance in small groups. Language generated during a small group task was analyzed using automated computer analysis techniques. The amount of verbal synchrony, or language style matching (LSM) was correlated with ratings of group cohesiveness and task performance. Cohesiveness was determined by a group average of individual self-reported attraction to the group, and performance was determined by the number of correct answers on a task. LSM was positively associated with cohesiveness, but was not related to performance. Associations between dependent variables and language categories are also discussed. The methodological implications of language as an accessible and objective measure are noted.