Ep 203: Psychology of Dance

MichaelCognition, Intelligence and LanguageLeave a Comment

What are psychologists doing watching dancers? They’re trying to get a better understanding of how a dancer’s emotions affect the way they move. These researchers used some sophisticated equipment – including a motion capture apparatus – to analyze exactly how people moved while they were experiencing different emotional states.

I think you’ll find what they did and what they found to be quite interesting. If you’re interested in dance and psychology you’ll get a glimpse of how these two fields can be combined. That’s one of the things about psychology: you can apply it to so many areas of life, including dance.


Music and dance fundamentally relate to both emotions and movement, yet little is known about how emotionality shapes the way people move to music. We investigated how individually experienced affective states, indicative of the broader approach–avoidance orientation, were reflected in dance movements to music. Saarikallio et, al (2013)

    • Saarikallio, S, Luck, G, Burger, B., Thompson, M. & Toiviainen, P. (2013). Dance Moves Reflect Current Affective State Illustrative of Approach–Avoidance Motivation







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