The voice of emotion: Acoustic properties of six emotional expressions
AuthorBaldwin, Carol May
AdvisorWetzel, Mary C.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractStudies in the perceptual identification of emotional states suggested that listeners seemed to depend on a limited set of vocal cues to distinguish among emotions. Linguistics and speech science literatures have indicated that this small set of cues included intensity, fundamental frequency, and temporal properties such as speech rate and duration. Little research has been done, however, to validate these cues in the production of emotional speech, or to determine if specific dimensions of each cue are associated with the production of a particular emotion for a variety of speakers. This study addressed deficiencies in understanding of the acoustical properties of duration and intensity as components of emotional speech by means of speech science instrumentation. Acoustic data were conveyed in a brief sentence spoken by twelve English speaking adult male and female subjects, half with dramatic training, and half without such training. Simulated expressions included: happiness, surprise, sadness, fear, anger, and disgust. The study demonstrated that the acoustic property of mean intensity served as an important cue for a vocal taxonomy. Overall duration was rejected as an element for a general taxonomy due to interactions involving gender and role. Findings suggested a gender-related taxonomy, however, based on differences in the ways in which men and women use the duration cue in their emotional expressions. Results also indicated that speaker training may influence greater use of the duration cue in expressions of emotion, particularly for male actors. Discussion of these results provided linkages to (1) practical management of emotional interactions in clinical and interpersonal environments, (2) implications for differences in the ways in which males and females may be socialized to express emotions, and (3) guidelines for future perceptual studies of emotional sensitivity.