Abstract Title

First Glance: Impact of Affective Tone on the Perceptions of Friendliness and Political Ideology

Abstract

Currently, it seems that the United States is split politically (Gentzkow, 2016), which could be largely related to emotionally charged and hyperbolic use of language in the media (Graber & Dunaway, 2017). However, it is currently less clear how paralinguistic cues (e.g., non-lexical elements of speech, such as tone of voice) may shape the interpretation of others that behave in a politically motivated way (e.g., Brandon has a pro-choice bumper sticker on his vehicle.). In the current study, we use a computer mouse-tracking paradigm (see Freeman & Ambady, 2010) to evaluate action dynamics associated with positive and negative social judgements made about a social other when they are described performing a liberal or conservative behavior (in a positive, negative, or neutral tone of voice). An initial evaluation of the data indicated that the participants were more liberally leaning and tended to rate individuals who behaved liberally as more friendly. Additionally, listeners exhibited more hesitation in expressing their political alignment when a negative tone of voice was used to describe liberal behaviors. Whereas, listeners experienced more cognitive competition when responding to conservative statements overall, but particularly when a neutral tone described the conservative statements. It could be that when the vocal tone matches the listeners political ideology, decision making is easier. However, when the tone does not match the political ideology then listeners’ cognition for decision making is impacted. This could suggest that non-positively valenced tone of voice has the potential to perturb the cognitive system regarding political affiliation and ideology.

Modified Abstract

A computer mouse-tracking paradigm (Freeman & Ambady, 2010) was used to evaluate action dynamics associated with positive and negative social judgements made about a social other when they were described performing a liberal or conservative behavior. Participants in this study were more liberally leaning and tended to rate individuals who behaved liberally as more friendly. Results suggest that non-positively valenced tone of voice has the potential to perturb the cognitive system regarding political affiliation and ideology.

Research Category

Social Science/Education/Public Health

Author Information

Thimberley MorganFollow

Primary Author's Major

Speech Pathology & Audiology

Mentor #1 Information

Dr. Jennifer M. Roche

Roche

Presentation Format

Poster

Start Date

April 2019

Research Area

Anthropological Linguistics and Sociolinguistics | Cognition and Perception | Cognitive Psychology | Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics | Semantics and Pragmatics

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Apr 9th, 1:00 PM

First Glance: Impact of Affective Tone on the Perceptions of Friendliness and Political Ideology

Currently, it seems that the United States is split politically (Gentzkow, 2016), which could be largely related to emotionally charged and hyperbolic use of language in the media (Graber & Dunaway, 2017). However, it is currently less clear how paralinguistic cues (e.g., non-lexical elements of speech, such as tone of voice) may shape the interpretation of others that behave in a politically motivated way (e.g., Brandon has a pro-choice bumper sticker on his vehicle.). In the current study, we use a computer mouse-tracking paradigm (see Freeman & Ambady, 2010) to evaluate action dynamics associated with positive and negative social judgements made about a social other when they are described performing a liberal or conservative behavior (in a positive, negative, or neutral tone of voice). An initial evaluation of the data indicated that the participants were more liberally leaning and tended to rate individuals who behaved liberally as more friendly. Additionally, listeners exhibited more hesitation in expressing their political alignment when a negative tone of voice was used to describe liberal behaviors. Whereas, listeners experienced more cognitive competition when responding to conservative statements overall, but particularly when a neutral tone described the conservative statements. It could be that when the vocal tone matches the listeners political ideology, decision making is easier. However, when the tone does not match the political ideology then listeners’ cognition for decision making is impacted. This could suggest that non-positively valenced tone of voice has the potential to perturb the cognitive system regarding political affiliation and ideology.