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Communication of emotions in vocal expression and music performance: Different channels, same code?
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2003 (English)In: Psychological Bulletin, ISSN 0033-2909, Vol. 129, no 5, 770-814 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Many authors have speculated about a close relationship between vocal expression of emotions and musical expression of emotions, but evidence bearing on this relationship has unfortunately been lacking. A review of 104 studies of vocal expression and 41 studies of music performance revealed similarities between the two channels concerning (a) the accuracy with which discrete emotions were communicated to listeners and (b) the emotion-specific patterns of acoustic cues used to communicate each emotion. The patterns are generally consistent with Scherer’s (1986) theoretical predictions. The results can explain why music is perceived as expressive of emotion and are consistent with an evolutionary perspective on vocal expression of emotions. Discussion focuses on hypotheses and directions for future research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. Vol. 129, no 5, 770-814 p.
Keyword [en]
vocal expression, emotion, music performance, expression, decoding
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-92372PubMedID: 12956543OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-92372DiVA: diva2:165421
Available from: 2004-11-17 Created: 2004-11-17 Last updated: 2016-04-27
In thesis
1. Vocal Expression of Emotion: Discrete-emotions and Dimensional Accounts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Vocal Expression of Emotion: Discrete-emotions and Dimensional Accounts
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis investigated whether vocal emotion expressions are conveyed as discrete emotions or as continuous dimensions.

Study I consisted of a meta-analysis of decoding accuracy of discrete emotions (anger, fear, happiness, love-tenderness, sadness) within and across cultures. Also, the literature on acoustic characteristics of expressions was reviewed. Results suggest that vocal expressions are universally recognized and that there exist emotion-specific patterns of voice-cues for discrete emotions.

In Study II, actors vocally portrayed anger, disgust, fear, happiness, and sadness with weak and strong emotion intensity. The portrayals were decoded by listeners and acoustically analyzed with respect to 20 voice-cues (e.g., speech rate, voice intensity, fundamental frequency, spectral energy distribution). Both the intended emotion and intensity of the portrayals were accurately decoded and had an impact on voice-cues. Listeners’ ratings of both emotion and intensity could be predicted from a selection of voice-cues.

In Study III, listeners rated the portrayals from Study II on emotion dimensions (activation, valence, potency, emotion intensity). All dimensions were correlated with several voice-cues. Listeners’ ratings could be successfully predicted from the voice-cues for all dimensions except valence.

In Study IV, continua of morphed expressions, ranging from one emotion to another in equal steps, were created using speech synthesis. Listeners identified the emotion of each expression and discriminated between pairs of expressions. The continua were perceived as two distinct sections separated by a sudden category boundary. Also, discrimination accuracy was generally higher for pairs of stimuli falling across category boundaries than for pairs belonging to the same category. This suggests that vocal expressions are categorically perceived.

Taken together, the results suggest that a discrete-emotions approach provides the best account of vocal expression. Previous difficulties in finding emotion-specific patterns of voice-cues may be explained in terms of limitations of previous studies and the coding of the communicative process.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2004. 80 p.
Series
Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Social Sciences, ISSN 0282-7492 ; 141
Keyword
Psychology, speech, emotion, vocal expression, emotion dimensions, acoustic cues, categorical perception, nonverbal communication, speech synthesis, cross-cultural communication, decoding accuracy, emotion intensity, meta-analysis, discrete emotions, Psykologi
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-4666 (URN)91-554-6091-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-12-10, Jacobsson Widdingsalen (Room 1022), Trädgårdsgatan 18, Uppsala, 10:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2004-11-17 Created: 2004-11-17Bibliographically approved

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