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- Current Psychology
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The present study compares how individuals perceive gradient acoustic realizations of emotion produced by a human voice versus an Amazon Alexa text-to-speech (TTS) voice. We manipulated semantically neutral sentences spoken by both talkers with identical emotional synthesis methods, using three levels of increasing ‘happiness’ (0 %, 33 %, 66% ‘happier’). On each trial, listeners (native speakers of American English, n=99) rated a given sentence on two scales to assess dimensions of emotion: valence (negative-positive) and arousal (calm-excited). Participants also rated the Alexa voice on several parameters to assess anthropomorphism (e.g., naturalness, human-likeness, etc.). Results showed that the emotion manipulations led to increases in perceived positive valence and excitement. Yet, the effect differed by interlocutor: increasing ‘happiness’ manipulations led to larger changes for the human voice than the Alexa voice. Additionally, we observed individual differences in perceived valence/arousal based on participants’ anthropomorphism scores. Overall, this line of research can speak to theories of computer personification and elucidate our changng relationship with voice-AI technology.
Humans experience emotional benefits from engaging in prosocial behavior. The current work investigates factors that influence the experience of happiness from giving to others in early childhood. In three studies with 5‐year‐olds (
N= 144), we find that young children are happier from giving resources to others than from receiving resources for themselves (Study 1) and investigate whenchildren are most happy from giving. In Study 2, children were happier when they could see the beneficiary's positive reaction, suggesting that empathizing with the beneficiary's positive emotion contributes to happiness (consistent with the concept of vicarious‐joy). In Study 3, children were happier after they gave resources than when they watched someone else give resources, indicating that being responsible for prosocial action contributes to children's happiness (consistent with the concept of warm‐glow). These results provide a critical step toward understanding when children experience happiness from giving and a foundation for investigating happiness as a mechanism supporting early prosociality.
Abstract The enhancement hypothesis suggests that deaf individuals are more vigilant to visual emotional cues than hearing individuals. The present eye-tracking study examined ambient–focal visual attention when encoding affect from dynamically changing emotional facial expressions. Deaf (n = 17) and hearing (n = 17) individuals watched emotional facial expressions that in 10-s animations morphed from a neutral expression to one of happiness, sadness, or anger. The task was to recognize emotion as quickly as possible. Deaf participants tended to be faster than hearing participants in affect recognition, but the groups did not differ in accuracy. In general, happy faces were more accurately and more quickly recognized than faces expressing anger or sadness. Both groups demonstrated longer average fixation duration when recognizing happiness in comparison to anger and sadness. Deaf individuals directed their first fixations less often to the mouth region than the hearing group. During the last stages of emotion recognition, deaf participants exhibited more focal viewing of happy faces than negative faces. This pattern was not observed among hearing individuals. The analysis of visual gaze dynamics, switching between ambient and focal attention, was useful in studying the depth of cognitive processing of emotional information among deaf and hearing individuals.
The expression of human emotion is integral to social interaction, and in virtual reality it is increasingly common to develop virtual avatars that attempt to convey emotions by mimicking these visual and aural cues, i.e. the facial and vocal expressions. However, errors in (or the absence of) facial tracking can result in the rendering of incorrect facial expressions on these virtual avatars. For example, a virtual avatar may speak with a happy or unhappy vocal inflection while their facial expression remains otherwise neutral. In circumstances where there is conflict between the avatar's facial and vocal expressions, it is possible that users will incorrectly interpret the avatar's emotion, which may have unintended consequences in terms of social influence or in terms of the outcome of the interaction. In this paper, we present a human-subjects study (N = 22) aimed at understanding the impact of conflicting facial and vocal emotional expressions. Specifically we explored three levels of emotional valence (unhappy, neutral, and happy) expressed in both visual (facial) and aural (vocal) forms. We also investigate three levels of head scales (down-scaled, accurate, and up-scaled) to evaluate whether head scale affects user interpretation of the conveyed emotion. We find significant effects of differentmore »
We explore the relationship between context and happiness scores in political tweets using word co-occurrence networks, where nodes in the network are the words, and the weight of an edge is the number of tweets in the corpus for which the two connected words co-occur. In particular, we consider tweets with hashtags #imwithher and #crookedhillary, both relating to Hillary Clinton’s presidential bid in 2016. We then analyze the network properties in conjunction with the word scores by comparing with null models to separate the effects of the network structure and the score distribution. Neutral words are found to be dominant and most words, regardless of polarity, tend to co-occur with neutral words. We do not observe any score homophily among positive and negative words. However, when we perform network backboning, community detection results in word groupings with meaningful narratives, and the happiness scores of the words in each group correspond to its respective theme. Thus, although we observe no clear relationship between happiness scores and co-occurrence at the node or edge level, a community-centric approach can isolate themes of competing sentiments in a corpus.