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

5pSP6. Neuroticism and openness are predicted by fundamental frequency of speech.

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

The fundamental frequency (F0) of speech has been used for examining both transient emotional states [D. A. Vakoch, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 95, 2974 (1994)] and more stable personality traits. For example, low perceived pitch has been associated with attributions of high emotional stability [K. R. Scherer, Eur. J. Soc. Psychol. 8, 467--487 (1978)]. In the current study, characteristics derived from F0 were related to five personality traits as measured by the NEO-PI: neuroticism, extroversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness. A high degree of openness was predicted by a high mean F0 of an utterance (p<0.025) and by a great variability in F0 within an utterance (p<0.004). The best predictor of neuroticism was peak F0 within an utterance, with subjects scoring high on this scale having a higher maximum F0 (p<0.021). The latter finding, in conjunction with previous research on attributions of emotional stability, suggests a convergence between objective acoustical measures and subjective perceptions of personality.