MS Proposal by Sarah Kim

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Name: Sarah Kim

Master’s Thesis Proposal Meeting

Date: Monday, June 12, 2023

Time: 10:00am EST

Location: Zoom Meeting

Click here to join meeting

Meeting ID: 951 2907 9946

Passcode: 523584 



Hsiao-Wen Liao, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)


Thesis Committee Members:

Hsiao-Wen Liao, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Kimberly French, Ph.D. (Georgia Tech)

Sarah Barber, Ph.D. (Georgia State)


Title: Can Synchronized Activities Promote Positive Sentiments of the Young Towards the Old?


Abstract:  Studies have shown that the younger generation’s general view of older adults is often negative, and those pessimistic attitudes lay consequences on intergenerational relationships. Tension is consistently observed between the opposite age groups, which intimidates social harmony. Current study centers on interpersonal synchrony as a potential intervening venue. Prior research show that synchronous activities enhance positivity among interpersonal interactions. However, those studies were limited to subjects in the same generations. It remains unknown whether past findings can be generalized to people in opposite age groups. Thus, this study will test whether synchronous activities, specifically synchronous walking, promote positive sentiments of younger adults toward older adults. This study targets younger adults because they tend to hold negative views on older adults. Their potential change in the four components essential for forming positive interpersonal relationships will be examined including impression, connectedness, prosocial attitudes, and conversation engagement. Participants will first complete a battery of questionnaires online assessing background information. After one week, they will be invited to complete tasks with an older partner who acts as a confederate. Participants will be randomly assigned to one of the three conditions (i.e., synchronous walking, asynchronous walking, and no walking). Standard questionnaires will be used to access younger adults’ positive sentiments toward the old confederate throughout experiments. A series of one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and one-way repeated measures ANOVA will be conducted to test group differences. Positive results from this study will shed light on applications of synchronous activities for promoting positive intergenerational interactions and extend the research scope of interpersonal synchrony to intergenerational relationships.


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