The perception of cooperativeness without any visual or auditory communication

Dong Seon Chang, Franziska Burger, Heinrich H. Bülthoff, Stephan de la Rosa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Perceiving social information such as the cooperativeness of another person is an important part of human interaction. But can people perceive the cooperativeness of others even without any visual or auditory information? In a novel experimental setup, we connected two people with a rope and made them accomplish a point-collecting task together while they could not see or hear each other. We observed a consistently emerging turn-taking behavior in the interactions and installed a confederate in a subsequent experiment who either minimized or maximized this behavior. Participants experienced this only through the haptic force-feedback of the rope and made evaluations about the confederate after each interaction. We found that perception of cooperativeness was significantly affected only by the manipulation of this turn-taking behavior. Gender- and size-related judgments also significantly differed. Our results suggest that people can perceive social information such as the cooperativeness of other people even in situations where possibilities for communication are minimal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Nov 30

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2015.


  • Action
  • Cooperation
  • Coordination
  • Perception
  • Reciprocity
  • Social interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems
  • Artificial Intelligence


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