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Linguistic Synchrony: The Key to Successful Emotional Support


The power of emotional support is undeniable, but the factors that determine whether it succeeds or fails are not completely understood. Researchers analyzed over 1 million support interactions within an online environment and found that emotional-support attempts are more successful when there is synchrony in the behavior of support providers and recipients, indicating a shared psychological understanding.


The study showed that when there was linguistic synchrony in language used and semantic content conveyed, there were immediate measures of support impact and delayed measures of lasting change in the emotional impact of stressful life situations. These findings provide insight into the process underlying successful emotional support and suggest avenues for further research in support processes enacted through linguistic behaviors.




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