New Publication out!


An automated, data-driven approach to children's social dynamics in space and time

by Lisa Horn, Márton Karsai, Gabriela Markova


Most children first enter social groups of peers in preschool. In this context, children use movement as a social tool, resulting in distinctive proximity patterns in space and synchrony with others over time. However, the social implications of children's movements with peers in space and time are difficult to determine due to the difficulty of acquiring reliable data during natural interactions. In this article, we review research demonstrating that proximity and synchrony are important indicators of affiliation among preschoolers and highlight challenges in this line of research. We then argue for the advantages of using wearable sensor technology and machine learning analytics to quantify social movement. This technological and analytical advancement provides an unprecedented view of complex social interactions among preschoolers in natural settings, and can help integrate young children's movements with others in space and time into a coherent interaction framework.