Behavioural mediation of prosodic cues to implicit judgements of trustworthiness

Ilaria Torre, Laurence White, Jeremy Goslin

Prosodic information is known to play a role in personality attributions, such as judgements of trustworthiness. Research so far has focused on assessing the determinants of such attributions in static contexts, very often in the form of questionnaires, and not much is known about their dynamics, in particular, how direct experience of behaviour over time influences the interpretation of vocal characteristics. We used the investment game, an innovative methodology adapted from game theory studies, to assess how trust attributions – to virtual players acting more or less cooperatively – are affected by the prosodic characteristics of speakers of a range of British English accents. Regression analysis shows that speaker accent, mean pitch, and articulation rate all influence participants investment decisions, our implicit measure of trust. Furthermore, participants interpretations of these prosodic characteristics interact with how the virtual players behave over time. Our findings are discussed with reference to “Size/Frequency Code“ and “Effort Code“ accounts of prosodic universals.

DOI: 10.21437/SpeechProsody.2016-167

Cite as

Torre, I., White, L., Goslin, J. (2016) Behavioural mediation of prosodic cues to implicit judgements of trustworthiness. Proc. Speech Prosody 2016, 816-820.

author={Ilaria Torre and Laurence White and Jeremy Goslin},
title={Behavioural mediation of prosodic cues to implicit judgements of trustworthiness},
booktitle={Speech Prosody 2016},