Smiling is a universally recognized visible expression of happiness. A side effect of smiling is an alteration of the vocal tract, suggesting that during vocalization smiling may be heard as well as seen. The present studies investigated this hypothesis. Smiled and straight-faced tokens of 29 utterances were collected from six speakers, and presented to three groups of 12 subjects for forced-choice identification. Groups 1 and 2, instructed to select the. smiled or happier sound, respectively, performed significantly better than chance for all speakers. Group 3, asked to select the sadder sound, chose the straight-faced token reliably :For four speakers, but for one also picked the smiled token. Acoustic analyses showed that smiling raised the fundamental and formant frequencies for all speakers and amplitude and/or duration for some. Particular cue combinations appear to be heard as smiling specifically, whereas others are associated with emotionality in general.
Streeter, L. A., Macdonald, N. H., Apple, W., Krauss, R. M., & Galotti, K. M.Acoustical and perceptual indicators of emotional stress. Paper presented at the 96th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Honolulu, 1978.
Ladefoged, P., Wright, J., & Linker, W.Where does the vocal tract end? Paper presented at the 95th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Providence, Rhode Island 1978.
Apple, W., Streeter, L. A., & Krauss, R. M. The effects of pitch and speech rate on personal attributions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, in press.
Atal, B. S., &Hanauer, S. C. Speech analysis and synthesis by linear prediction of the speech wave.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1971,50, 637–655.
Dearborn, G. V. N. The nature of the smile and laugh.Science, 1900,11, 851–856.
Eibl-Eibesfeldt, I. Similarities and differences between cultures in expressive moments. In R. A. Hinde (Ed.),Nonverbal communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.
Ekman, P., Friesen, W. V., &Scherer, K. R. Body Movement and voice pitch in deceptive interaction.Semiotica, 1976,16, 23–27.
Fairbanks, G., &Pronovost, W. An experimental study of the pitch characteristics of the voice during the expression of emotion.Speech Monographs. 1939,6, 89-I04.
Fairbanks, G., &Hoaglin, L. W. An experimental study of the durational characteristics of the voice during the expression of emotion.Speech Monographs, 1941,8, 85–90.
Friedhoff, A. J., Alpert, M. &Kurtzberg, R. L. Infracontent channels of vocal communication.Association for Research of Nervous and Mental Disease, 1964,42, 414–423.
Hecker, M. H. L., Stevens, K. N., Von Bismarck, G., &Williams, C. E. Manifestations of task-induced stress in the acoustic speech signal.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1968,44, 993–1001.
Van Hoofv, J. A. R. A. M. A comparative approach to the phylogeny of laughter and smiling. In R. A. Hinde (Ed.),Nonverbal communication. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1972.
Mussen, P. H., Conger, J. J., &Kagan J.Child development and personality (4th Ed.). New York: Harper & Row, 1974.
Nakatani, L. H. Computer-aided signal handling for speech research.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1977,61, 1056–1062.
Peterson, G. E., &Barley, H. L. Control methods used in a study of vowels.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1952,24, 175–184.
Scherer, K. R. Acoustic concomitants of emotional dimensions: Judging affect from synthesized tone sequences. In S. Weitz (Ed.),Nonverbal communication. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.
Shor, R. E. The production and judgment of smile magnitude.The Journal of General Psychology, 1978,98, 79–96.
Streeter, L. A., Krauss, R. M., Geller, V. J., Olson, C., &Apple, W. Pitch changes during attempted deception.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 1977,35, 345–350.
Williams, C. E., &Stevens, K. N. On determining the emotional state of pilots during flight: An exploratory study.Aerospace Medicine, 1969,40, 1369–1372.
Williams, C. E., &Stevens, K. N. Emotions and speech: some acoustical correlates.Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 1972,52, 1238–1250.
About this article
Cite this article
Tartter, V.C. Happy talk: Perceptual and acoustic effects of smiling on speech. Perception & Psychophysics 27, 24–27 (1980). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03199901
- Acoustical Society
- Formant Frequency
- Vocal Tract
- Speech Rate
- Acoustical Society ofAmerica