ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

5pSP4. Vocal correlates of interpersonal issues.

Douglas A. Vakoch

Dean A. Pollina

Lee H. Wurm

Dept. of Psychol., State Univ. of New York at Stony Brook, Stony Brook, NY 11794-2500

Previous studies have related different interpersonal styles to the fundamental frequency (F0) of subjects' speech. For example, high ratings of pitch have been associated with self-attributions of dominance and affiliation [K. R. Scherer, J. Psychol. Res. 3, 281--298 (1974)], which are two dimensions along which interpersonal issues have been defined [L. E. Alden, J. S. Wiggins, and A. L. Pincus, J. Pers. Assessment 55, 521--536 (1990); L. S. Benjamin, Psychol. Rev. 81, 392--425 (1974)]. Similarly, subjects with greater pitch variability have been judged to be more benevolent [G. B. Ray, Commun. Monographs 53, 266--276 (1986)]. Previous studies, however, have failed to focus on the problematic aspects of interpersonal functioning. The current study reports on the acoustical correlates of six types of interpersonal problems: (1) excessive concern about the evaluations of others, (2) impact of past abuse, (3) dissatisfaction with therapist, (4) excessive responsibility for partner, (5) fear of abandonment, and (6) ineffective interpersonal responses. For females only, a higher mean F0 was predictive of both a greater sense of excessive responsibility for partner (p<0.05) and an increased fear of abandonment (p<0.05).