The voice of confidence: Paralinguistic cues and audience evaluation
ABSTRACT A standard speaker read linguistically confident and doubtful texts in a confident or doubtful voice. A computer-based acoustic analysis of the four tapes showed that paralinguistic confidence was expressed by increased loudness of voice, rapid rate of speech, and infrequent, short pauses. Under some conditions, higher pitch levels and greater pitch and energy fluctuations in the voice were related to paralinguistic confidence. In a 2 × 2 design, observers perceived and used these cues to attribute confidence and related personality traits to the speaker. Both text and voice cues are related to confidence ratings; in addition, the two types of cue are related to differing personality attributes.
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ABSTRACT: Bolinger, Ohala, Morton and others have established that vocal pitch height is perceived to be associated with social signals of dominance and submissiveness: higher vocal pitch is associated with submissiveness, whereas lower vocal pitch is associated with social dominance. An experiment was carried out to test this relationship in the perception of non-vocal melodies. Results show a parallel situation in music: higher-pitched melodies sound more submissive (less threatening) than lower-pitched melodies. RESEARCH by Bolinger, Ohala, Morton and others has established that vocal pitch height (F0) is perceived to be associated with social cues for dominance and submissiveness. In a wide sample of cultures, Bolinger (1964) noted that high or rising vocal pitch is associated with politeness, deference, submissiveness and lack of confidence. Bolinger also showed that conversely, low or falling vocal pitch is associated with authority, threat, aggression, and confidence. Ohala (1984) and Morton (1994) have assembled additional support for this association in ethological studies of non-human animals. Paradoxically, an earlier study by Scherer et al. (1973) seemed to suggest that high vocal pitch is associated with aggression; however, Ohala (1994) has noted that the materials studied by Scherer et al. exhibit marked descending pitch contours. That is, beginning from a high pitch may allow a more exaggerated pitch descent, corresponding to a presumed confident or aggressive assertion. This association has been demonstrated in both ecological and controlled experimental situations. Morton (1994) reviewed vocalizations for 54 species as observed by ethologists. Morton noted that three features appear to be important in aggressive/passive signaling. First, low-pitched sounds are generally associated with aggressive signaling, whereas high-pitched sounds are generally associated with friendly, appeasing, or fearful signals. Second, falling pitch contours are generally associated with aggression, while rising pitches are associated with friendly, appeasing, or fearful signals. Finally, Morton drew attention to the (periodic) tone versus (aperiodic) noise distinction. In general, hostile signals are described as raspy, growling, buzzing, or snarling. Such sounds are often characterized as "harsh." By contrast, friendly or appeasing signals are typically described as whimpers, whines, squeaks, squeals, screeches, or chirps. In general, those tones which evoke the clearest pitch sensations are associated with friendly and appeasing signals, whereas unpitched noises or less clearly pitched tones are associated with aggression. To Morton's three factors we may add a fourth - loudness. Loudness seems to be interpretable in two ways. First, loudness may be associated with the urgency of the signal. That is, a loud vocalization may indicate a strong desire to communicate or to communicate clearly. In addition, increased loudness is also likely correlated with hostility or aggression; the acoustic power might suggest the physical power of the individual or signal the individual's willingness to engage in physical confrontation.
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ABSTRACT: Vocal expressions of emotions taken from a recorded version of a play were content. masked by using electronic filtering, randomized splicing and a combination of both techniques in addition to a no-treatment condition in a 2×2 design. Untrained listener-judges rated the voice samples in the four conditions on 20 semantic differential scales. Irrespective of the severe reduction in the number and types of vocal cues in the masking conditions, the mean ratings of the judges in all four groups agreed on a level significantly beyond chance expectations on the differential position of the emotional expressions in a multidimensional space of emotional meaning. The results suggest that a minimal set of vocal cues consisting of pitch level and variation, amplitude level and variation, and rate of articulation may be sufficient to communicate the evaluation, potency, and activity dimensions of emotional meaning. Each of these dimensions may be associated with a specific pattern of vocal cues or cue combinations. No differential effects of the type of content-masking for specific emotions were found. Systematic effects of the masking techniques consisted in a lowering of the perceived activity level of the emotions in the case of electronic filtering, and more positive ratings on the evaluative dimension in the case of randomized splicing. Electronic filtering tended to decrease, randomized splicing tended to increase inter-rater reliability.Journal of Psycholinguistic Research 09/1972; 1(3):269-85. · 0.59 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: It is presented an experimental investigation that observes the influence of expertise in speaking, the content of speech and audiovisual perception on the formation of impressions of media speakers. After perceiving the voice or the face-voice of professional and non professional speakers producing a formal or non formal speech, 320 participants answered a questionnaire containing semantic differential questions. The results provide useful information for the understanding of the audiovisual speech process, of the impression formation through speech perception, and of factors influencing the audio-visual interpretation. En este artículo se presenta una investigación experimental que observa la influencia de la profesionalidad en la locución, el contenido del habla y la percepción audiovisual en la formación de impresiones sobre hablantes mediáticos. 320 sujetos experimentales de ambos sexos se sometieron a las pruebas de percepción divididas en dos condiciones: percepción de la voz y percepción de la voz y el rostro del hablante. Los hablantes eran locutores profesionales y hablantes no profesionales produciendo un texto formal (noticia) y un texto no formal (ficción). Los resultados aportan información útil para comprender el proceso de percepción del habla audiovisual, de la formación de impresiones y de aspectos influyentes de la interpretación sonoro-visual de mensajes no improvisados por las audiencias de contextos comunicativos mediados (v. g. radio y televisión). Los datos aportados por el experimento se interpretan en relación con la teoría de la expectativa del lenguaje (language expectancy theory) que explica y predice las actitudes que tienen los receptores frente a los actos del habla.Signo y Pensamiento. 12/2008; 27(53):246-266.