Instructions for Actors
Background and Purpose
Methods/Procedures for Audio Recording
Definitions of Emotional Categories and Continua
Background and Purpose (back to top)We're interested in prosody: the aspects of speech (emotion, intonation) that are left out of the written form of a message. For a series of experiments in the perception of prosody, we're making recordings, in which simple phrases are expressed in ways that reflect varied contexts. The same phrase might be used to:
The recordings will be used in several different kinds of experiments. For instance, we will use functional imaging techniques to determine what parts of the brain are involved in processing different sorts of prosodic information. We also plan to play these audio recordings to people who -- because of a neurological condition like Parkinson's disease -- do not express emotion well themselves. We will ask these patients to make judgments regarding these audio recordings, in order to determine if their impaired ability to express emotion is related to their understanding of emotional expression when they hear it.
for Audio Recordings (back
You'll be reading "scripts" that are somewhat unusual and difficult. Some of our research techniques require short utterances -- less than 1.5 seconds long. We also need to compare prosodically-different phrases whose literal content is completely neutral in different emotional states and conversational contexts. Therefore, some of the phrases you'll be reading are neutral things, like numbers and dates. Depending on the context, a number or date can be boring, pleasant, infuriating, amusing, etc. We're relying on you to find a way to express the specified emotions, attitudes or contexts using these very short and intrisically empty "lines".
Types of context for scripted phrases (back to top)
2. 14 Emotional States
We are going to ask you to create several different kinds of context for the phrases that you read.
In the first section of the recording, we'll be asking you to express a dimension of dominance and a dimension of distance.
The distance dimension is easy to understand and also easy to produce: It is just a matter of how far away you imagine your hearer to be. You may be speaking
We will not ask you to produce all combinations
of the distance and dominance dimensions, but rather to produce near to
far distances given neutral dominance, and submissive to dominant attitudes
given a medium distance.
14 Emotional States (back)
In the second section of the recording, we'll ask you to read lines in 14 specific emotional states. These states are:
In the third part of the recording session, we'll ask you to read simple sentences in a question-and-answer format. Each sentence will occur as the answer to two different questions, for example:
Q1: What about Andrew? Who
did he leave with?
A: Andrew left with Lisa.
Q2: What about Lisa? Who left
A: Andrew left with Lisa.
Finally, there will be a small amount of miscellaneous material for you to read.
Definitions of Emotional Categories and Continua (back to top)
The categories of emotions were chosen based on Banse & Scherer's (1996) selection criteria. They were drawn from over 3,800 descriptions of emotional experiences as well as the situations that elicited these responses. You will be provided with a table, in which the emotional categories are detailed. It should inform you of the intonation you will use when stating the phrase. You will also be provided with brief descriptions of situations that may elicit these kinds of emotional responses. When in doubt, you should rely on the situations that elicit each response.
Following the table, you will find a sample "script" card, with the dates and numbers to be read, and the type of prosody to use (either from the emotional category, or the distance/dominance continuum). For each type of prosody, we ask that you state the category you will be using before reading the cards (this helps us with editing later). We suggest that you review the situations and descriptors for each category, and repeat each phrase until you are satisfied that you have an acceptable exemplar for the category. You may find that you repeat the first card a few times, the second twice, and the latter cards for each category once.
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