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The voice conveys specific emotions: evidence from vocal burst displays

Simon-Thomas, E.R. and Keltner, D.J. and Sauter, Disa and Sinicropi-Yao, L. and Abramson, A. (2009) The voice conveys specific emotions: evidence from vocal burst displays. Emotion 9 (6), pp. 838-846. ISSN 1528-3542.

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0017810

Abstract

Studies of emotion signaling inform claims about the taxonomic structure, evolutionary origins, and physiological correlates of emotions. Emotion vocalization research has tended to focus on a limited set of emotions: anger, disgust, fear, sadness, surprise, happiness, and for the voice, also tenderness. Here, we examine how well brief vocal bursts can communicate 22 different emotions: 9 negative (Study 1) and 13 positive (Study 2), and whether prototypical vocal bursts convey emotions more reliably than heterogeneous vocal bursts (Study 3). Results show that vocal bursts communicate emotions like anger, fear, and sadness, as well as seldom-studied states like awe, compassion, interest, and embarrassment. Ancillary analyses reveal family-wise patterns of vocal burst expression. Errors in classification were more common within emotion families (e.g., ‘self-conscious,’ ‘pro-social’) than between emotion families. The three studies reported highlight the voice as a rich modality for emotion display that can inform fundamental constructs about emotion.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): emotion, expression, vocal burst, vocalization
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 27 Jul 2011 13:54
Last Modified: 18 Apr 2013 09:11
URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/3888

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