A new paper from a St. FX University Mathematics professor and two of his students has found that people speed up when clapping together. Ryan Lukeman says the idea for his study came from a concert he went to a few years ago by the alternative rock band Wilco. Lukeman says the audience was clapping to the beat but quickly lost tempo, leading band members to comment about how poor the crowd was in keeping time.
Lukeman and his students recorded groups of various sizes clapping a rhythm, ranging from one person, to a pair, to more than 200 people. Lukeman says what they found was clapping by a single person on average would not speed up, but it did for groups of two or more.
Lukeman specializes in collective behaviour. The study was published last month in the open access journal Nature Scientific Reports.
Hear the full interview with Ryan Lukeman by following this link: https://soundcloud.com/ken-kingston/new-paper-from-st-francis-xavier-university-professor-finds-people-speed-up-when-clapping-together
To read the full paper, follow this link: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-18539-9