The Impact of Vocal Feedback on Emotional Experience and Expression
Journal of Social Behavior and Personality, Vol. 10, pp. 293-313, 1995
11 Pages Posted: 24 May 2008
Darwin argued that emotional experience should be affected, in part, by feedback from the skeletal musculature. Since Darwin's time, researchers have documented that emotional experience is shaped by both facial and postural feedback. Two experiments were conducted to determine whether emotional experience and facial expression are influenced by vocal feedback as well. In experiment 1, subjects were asked to read a joyous, loving, sad, or angry script. The impact on emotional experience and expression was assessed in two ways: (a) subjects completed a self-report measure of emotion, and (b) judges rated subjects' faces as they read the scripts. In Experiments 2, subjects were required to try to reproduce a random sound pattern vocally. These tones were designed to mimic the voice quality, rhythm, intonation, and pausing associated with joy, love, sadness, anger, or fear, or in the control condition, with an emotionally neutral state. The impact on subjects' subjective emotional experience was assessed by a self-report questionnaire. As predicted, in both experiments, emotional experience and/or facial expression were affected by verbal and/or vocal feedback (Experiment 1)and by vocal feedback alone (Experiment 2). Possible explanations for these results are discussed.
Keywords: emotional contagion, affect
JEL Classification: D81, D11, D12, D91
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation