ISCA Archive SUS 1995
ISCA Archive SUS 1995

Acoustic correlates of perceived emotional stress

Bernd Tischer

In this study the predictability of 15 discrete emotions (e.g. fear, uncertainty, rage, anger, sadness, love, tenderness, satisfaction, joy, sexual pleasure, surprise) and 6 bipolar emotional dimensions (feeling good/bad, strong/weak, certain/uncertain, tense/relaxed, excited/calm, sympathetic/not sympathetic) by 39 acoustic parameters was tested by multiple regression analysis. The stimulus material consisted of 60 utterances expressing 15 emotions (constant wording: SAG DAS NOCHMAL. ICH KANN'S NICHT GLAUBEN. WAS FÜR EIN TAG). For each emotion the quality of the emotional impression is nearly perfectly predictable from acoustic parameters. Within the domain of emotional stress the acoustic correlates of excitement, tension, feeling good/bad, fear, uncertainty, anger, sadness and surprise were examined seperately. Results show that perceived excitement is mainly mediated by fundamental frequency (within-syllable and between-syllable variation), whereas negative evaluated excitement and anxiety is mediated by (short) vowel duration and rising intensity within sentences. Anger, fear, uncertainty, sadness and surprise can be discriminated by additional acoustic features of speed, intensity and fundamental frequency. However, with increasing utterance length the impression of emotional stress is mediated by different acoustic features. Most of the 39 parameters affect the perceived emotional state only locally, at single parts of the utterances. Only four parameters have a stable influence on within-utterance variations of perceived emotional stress (within-utterance variations of F0, variations of vowel duration, downward F0 perturbation, sudden increase of intensity between phonological phrases).

Cite as: Tischer, B. (1995) Acoustic correlates of perceived emotional stress. Proc. ESCA/NATO Workshop on Speech under Stress, 29-32

  author={Bernd Tischer},
  title={{Acoustic correlates of perceived emotional stress}},
  booktitle={Proc. ESCA/NATO Workshop on Speech under Stress},