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.