The pervasive phenomenon of adaptivity in face-to-face interaction isdescribed inconsistently, using numerous concepts (e.g. alignment/attunement/complementarity/imitation/reciprocity/scaffolding/synchrony), impeding the streamlining of adaptivity research. Weexplored 33 adaptivity concepts and various adaptivity theories fromdifferentfields. We developed a theory-based conceptual frameworkconsisting of two key dimensions.Relatednessrefers to how people’sactions should relate to each other to be considered adaptive and isdescribed in terms of sameness (e.g. both friendly), oppositeness (e.g.dominant/submissive), or specified attentiveness (dissimilar acts).Responsivityrefers to the timing of people’s actions (sequential/simultaneous). The framework helps to understand what key elementsadaptivity consists of. The framework can help transcending theconcept and discipline level and examining and synthesizing research pertaining to adaptivity with similar dimensional characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of the International Communication Association
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Sept 2022


  • adaptivity
  • face-to-face interaction
  • scoping review
  • interpersonal communication


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