Discovery #5: Do (Even the Craziest) Things in Sync
There's a reason why modern armies make soldiers march in lockstep, found Stanford University's Scott Wiltermuth, PhD, and Chip Heath, PhD. Synchrony makes us more sympathetic.
The behavioral psychologists asked volunteers to do various exercises, such as marching, singing, and clapping cups over their mouths. Afterward, in a game involving real money, people who had been instructed to perform synchronously were more generous, trusting, and cooperative (even if the activity didn't actually make them happier) than the group who had been doing the same things out of sync. This helps to explain why group rituals like praying, bowling and chanting in unison are so heart-opening. Of course, the same applies to karaoke singing, head-banging, bathroom cleaning—anything, really, as long as it's in sync.