lecture16 - Perceiving personality from voice Following a...

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Perceiving personality from voice Following a few final notes on emotion
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A few final words on emotion Cross-cultural aspects of emotion perception An interesting area of study, because bioethological theories usually postulate that at least some emotions are innate/genetically determined Issue of separating biological from cultural explanations for emotional displays
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Biology or culture? Not necessarily mutually exclusive explanations Emotions may be innate, but learning to control emotions, emotional displays, perception of emotions, may be culture-specific. Specific emotions might be culture-specific while broad dimensions like arousal may be universal.
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Cross-cultural aspects of emotion perception A large literature, but focused mostly on faces, not voices Data from faces: Accuracy of emotion perception is higher when emotion is expressed and recognized by members of same national, ethnic, or regional group—an in-group advantage Majority group members do worse at recognizing emotion from minority group faces than vice versa.
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Cross-cultural aspects of emotion perception Emotion is less accurately perceived from voice than from faces, suggesting more complex/less stereotyped expressions; SO… Less in-group advantage with voices than with faces, but less cross-cultural accuracy as well. Richer information might be more difficult to decode, but might also be less susceptible to cultural conventions than stylized facial expressions of emotion.
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Behavioral data Some limited behavioral data Dromey et al.: 3 groups of listeners (monoglot English, polyglot English, native speakers of 25 different languages) Asked to recognize emotions in English utterances Polyglot English speakers most accurate; nonnative speakers of English least accurate Suggests learning a second language sensitizes listeners to subtle cues in language; or maybe listeners who are innately sensitive are more able to learn a second language.
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Imaging data Lots and lots of behavioral data that recognizing emotions involves primarily the right cerebral hemisphere Increasing amounts of imaging data
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Infants Evoked response potential data; 7 month old infants Enhanced response to emotional voice stimuli overall, but to angry voices (vs. happy or neutral) in particular Evolutionary advantage to detecting anger?
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Adults Adults also show heightened responses to negative stimuli fMRI data: Played angry or neutral stimuli dichotically to listeners, asked them to attend to one ear only and do a gender recognition task Enhanced responses (right middle superior temporal sulcus) for angry relative to neutral prosody, regardless of attention. Enhanced sensory response to emotional stimuli might help orient towards significant stimuli even when these are not the current focus of attention
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More data from adults Mismatch negativity paradigm Confirms that perception of emotion doesn’t depend on attention Large right hemisphere responses to happy and angry speech
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Sex differences?
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