Quantitative analysis of spontaneous sociality in children's group behavior during nursery activity.

Affiliation

Ichikawa J(1), Fujii K(2), Nagai T(3), Omori T(4), Oka N(5).
Author information:
(1)Faculty of Engineering, Kanagawa University, Yokohama, Kanagawa, Japan.
(2)Graduate School of Informatics, Nagoya University, Nagoya, Aichi, Japan.
(3)Graduate School of Engineering Science, Osaka University, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan.
(4)College of Engineering, Tamagawa University, Machida, Tokyo, Japan.
(5)Faculty of Information and Human Sciences, Kyoto Institute of Technology, Kyoto, Kyoto, Japan.

Abstract

Sociality is the tendency to spontaneously interact with others to establish and maintain relationships. Some approaches, including questionnaires, tests, controlled experiments, and qualitative field research, cannot capture complex social interactions, such as in children during nursery activities, because of problems with ecological validity and the labor cost of analysis. Here, we introduced a new methodology for the quantitative analysis of spontaneous social movement and investigated children's group behavior using position data. We periodically visited a nursery and recorded videos of eurhythmics, in which children move in tune with music, in different classes. The results revealed that children in the six-year-old class approached others in a short period of time (within one second) and established group behavior like that in a game of tag. It can be interpreted that such social behavior may include actions related to the cognition of anticipating others' behaviors in a complex situation. Although only a small amount of data could be acquired, this study suggests one of the characteristics of social behaviors in the classroom considering an ecological approach.