Nonlinear Dynamics, Psychology, and Life Sciences, Vol. 17, Iss. 3, July, 2013, pp. 425-443
@2013 Society for Chaos Theory in Psychology & Life Sciences


Interpersonal, Intrapersonal, Extrapersonal? Qualitatively Investigating Coordinative Couplings between Rowers in Olympic Sculling

Sarah-Kate Millar, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Anthony R. H. Oldham, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand
Ian Renshaw, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia

Abstract: Coordinative couplings are commonly classified as interpersonal and intrapersonal. Interpersonal coordination is normally thought of as between organisms but a subset can also be considered where the co-actors movements are coupled to an environmental rhythm. This can be termed extrapersonal coordination. This study explores how coordination is achieved in a situation that demands that at least one actor makes use of extrapersonal sources. In this case multi-seat rowing, where one actor cannot see the other one behind them. A qualitative approach using experiential knowledge from expert rowers (N=9) and coaches (N=4) was used to examine how interpersonal coordination was achieved and maintained in 2 person rowing boats. It was reported that where possible, both rowers coordinated their movements by coupling with an invariant provided by the boat. This invariant is underpinned by perception of water flow past the boat; which is in turn used to determine changes in acceleration - ”rowing with the boat.” Bow seat also identified the rower in front and stroke seat identified the looming of the stern as viable alternative sources for coupling.

Keywords: interpersonal coordination, self-organisation, extrapersonal, experiential knowledge, qualiative analysis, rowing