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Covert digital manipulation of vocal emotion alter speakers' emotional states in a congruent direction

Aucouturier, Jean-Julien; Johansson, Petter LU ; Hall, Lars LU ; Segnini, Rodrigo; Mercadié, Lolita and Watanabe, Katsumi (2016) In Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 113(4). p.948-953
Abstract
Research has shown that people often exert control over their emotions. By modulating expressions, reappraising feelings, and redirecting attention, they can regulate their emotional experience. These findings have contributed to a blurring of the traditional boundaries between cognitive and emotional processes, and it has been suggested that emotional signals are produced in a goal-directed way and monitored for errors like other intentional actions. However, this interesting possibility has never been experimentally tested. To this end, we created a digital audio platform to covertly modify the emotional tone of participants' voices while they talked in the direction of happiness, sadness, or fear. The result showed that the audio... (More)
Research has shown that people often exert control over their emotions. By modulating expressions, reappraising feelings, and redirecting attention, they can regulate their emotional experience. These findings have contributed to a blurring of the traditional boundaries between cognitive and emotional processes, and it has been suggested that emotional signals are produced in a goal-directed way and monitored for errors like other intentional actions. However, this interesting possibility has never been experimentally tested. To this end, we created a digital audio platform to covertly modify the emotional tone of participants' voices while they talked in the direction of happiness, sadness, or fear. The result showed that the audio transformations were being perceived as natural examples of the intended emotions, but the great majority of the participants, nevertheless, remained unaware that their own voices were being manipulated. This finding indicates that people are not continuously monitoring their own voice to make sure that it meets a predetermined emotional target. Instead, as a consequence of listening to their altered voices, the emotional state of the participants changed in congruence with the emotion portrayed, which was measured by both self-report and skin conductance level. This change is the first evidence, to our knowledge, of peripheral feedback effects on emotional experience in the auditory domain. As such, our result reinforces the wider framework of self-perception theory: that we often use the same inferential strategies to understand ourselves as those that we use to understand others. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
in
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences
volume
113
issue
4
pages
948 - 953
publisher
National Acad Sciences
external identifiers
  • pmid:26755584
  • wos:000368617900042
  • scopus:84955494222
ISSN
1091-6490
DOI
10.1073/pnas.1506552113
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
00f05f1a-7341-4933-846a-bf92626076d3 (old id 8592346)
alternative location
http://www.pnas.org/content/113/4/948
date added to LUP
2016-02-10 08:25:51
date last changed
2017-07-02 03:18:27
@article{00f05f1a-7341-4933-846a-bf92626076d3,
  abstract     = {Research has shown that people often exert control over their emotions. By modulating expressions, reappraising feelings, and redirecting attention, they can regulate their emotional experience. These findings have contributed to a blurring of the traditional boundaries between cognitive and emotional processes, and it has been suggested that emotional signals are produced in a goal-directed way and monitored for errors like other intentional actions. However, this interesting possibility has never been experimentally tested. To this end, we created a digital audio platform to covertly modify the emotional tone of participants' voices while they talked in the direction of happiness, sadness, or fear. The result showed that the audio transformations were being perceived as natural examples of the intended emotions, but the great majority of the participants, nevertheless, remained unaware that their own voices were being manipulated. This finding indicates that people are not continuously monitoring their own voice to make sure that it meets a predetermined emotional target. Instead, as a consequence of listening to their altered voices, the emotional state of the participants changed in congruence with the emotion portrayed, which was measured by both self-report and skin conductance level. This change is the first evidence, to our knowledge, of peripheral feedback effects on emotional experience in the auditory domain. As such, our result reinforces the wider framework of self-perception theory: that we often use the same inferential strategies to understand ourselves as those that we use to understand others.},
  author       = {Aucouturier, Jean-Julien and Johansson, Petter and Hall, Lars and Segnini, Rodrigo and Mercadié, Lolita and Watanabe, Katsumi},
  issn         = {1091-6490},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {4},
  pages        = {948--953},
  publisher    = {National Acad Sciences},
  series       = {Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences},
  title        = {Covert digital manipulation of vocal emotion alter speakers' emotional states in a congruent direction},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1506552113},
  volume       = {113},
  year         = {2016},
}