It’s not just what we say, it’s how we move: An examination of postural activity during a disclosure event


The current study incorporates concepts from dynamical systems theory and embodied cognition to propose a novel method of answering traditional questions in social psychology. Namely, we were interested in understanding postural sway complexity during the important interpersonal task of disclosing a hidden stigmatized identity (e.g., mental health disorder, history of sexual abuse). These unique tools provide researchers with a deeper understanding of the cognitive and environmental processes at play during a disclosure event. Using detrended fluctuation analysis and multifractal detrended fluctuation analysis, we captured postural activity while participants shared their personal secrets to an imagined other. Results suggest that disclosure context, defined by both disclosure confidant and antecedent goals, is indeed embodied in our complex postural activity.

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