Forming social impressions from voices in native and foreign languages

Baus, C., McAleer, P. , Marcoux, K., Belin, P. and Costa, A. (2019) Forming social impressions from voices in native and foreign languages. Scientific Reports, 9, 414. (doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36518-6) (PMID:30674913) (PMCID:PMC6344506)

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We form very rapid personality impressions about speakers on hearing a single word. This implies that the acoustical properties of the voice (e.g., pitch) are very powerful cues when forming social impressions. Here, we aimed to explore how personality impressions for brief social utterances transfer across languages and whether acoustical properties play a similar role in driving personality impressions. Additionally, we examined whether evaluations are similar in the native and a foreign language of the listener. In two experiments we asked Spanish listeners to evaluate personality traits from different instances of the Spanish word “Hola” (Experiment 1) and the English word “Hello” (Experiment 2), native and foreign language respectively. The results revealed that listeners across languages form very similar personality impressions irrespective of whether the voices belong to the native or the foreign language of the listener. A social voice space was summarized by two main personality traits, one emphasizing valence (e.g., trust) and the other strength (e.g., dominance). Conversely, the acoustical properties that listeners pay attention to when judging other’s personality vary across languages. These results provide evidence that social voice perception contains certain elements invariant across cultures/languages, while others are modulated by the cultural/linguistic background of the listener.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:Tis study was funded by the Agencia Estatal de Investigación (AEI, National Research Agency) and Fondo Europeo de Desarrollo Regional (FEDER, European Regional Development Fund) under projects PSI2017- 84539-P and PSI2014-52181-P, the Catalan Government (2017 SGR 268), and the European Union’s Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement no. 613465 - ATEME. CB was supported by the People Program (Marie Curie Actions, FP7-PEOPLE 2014–2016) under REA agreement n°623845 and now is supported by the Beatriu de Pinòs program (AGAUR, BP00381). PB was supported by supported by grant AJE201214 from French Foundation for Medical Research, and grants ANR-16-CONV-0002 (Institute of Language, Communication and the Brain), ANR-11-LABX-0036 (Brain and Language Research Institute) and the Excellence Initiative of Aix-Marseille University (A*MIDEX).
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:McAleer, Dr Phil and Belin, Professor Pascal
Authors: Baus, C., McAleer, P., Marcoux, K., Belin, P., and Costa, A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
Journal Name:Scientific Reports
Publisher:Nature Research
ISSN (Online):2045-2322
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Scientific Reports 9: 414
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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