Effects of fundamental frequency and speech rate on impression formation

Uchida, T.; Nakaune, N.

The Japanese journal of psychology 75(5): 397-406


DOI: 10.4992/jjpsy.75.397
Accession: 068501779

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This study investigated the systematic relationship between nonverbal features of speech and personality trait ratings of the speaker. In Study 1, fundamental frequency (F0) in original speech was converted into five levels from 64% to 156.25%. Then 132 undergraduates rated each of the converted speeches in terms of personality traits. In Study 2 134 undergraduates similarly rated the speech stimuli, which had five speech rate levels as well as two F0 levels. Results showed that listener ratings along Big Five dimensions were mostly independent. Each dimension had a slightly different change profile over the five levels of F0 and speech rate. A quadratic regression equation provided a good approximation for each rating as a function of F0 or speech rate. The quadratic regression equations put together would provide us with a rough estimate of personality trait impression as a function of prosodic features. The functional relationship among F0, speech rate, and trait ratings was shown as a curved surface in the three-dimensional space.