Evaluation of nonverbal emotion in face and voice: some preliminary findings on a new battery of tests

Marc David Pell
Brain and Cognition 2002, 48 (2): 499-504
This report describes some preliminary attributes of stimuli developed for future evaluation of nonverbal emotion in neurological populations with acquired communication impairments. Facial and vocal exemplars of six target emotions were elicited from four male and four female encoders and then prejudged by 10 young decoders to establish the category membership of each item at an acceptable consensus level. Representative stimuli were then presented to 16 additional decoders to gather indices of how category membership and encoder gender influenced recognition accuracy of emotional meanings in each nonverbal channel. Initial findings pointed to greater facility in recognizing target emotions from facial than vocal stimuli overall and revealed significant accuracy differences among the six emotions in both the vocal and facial channels. The gender of the encoder portraying emotional expressions was also a significant factor in how well decoders recognized specific emotions (disgust, neutral), but only in the facial condition.

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