Linguisten gingen bislang von 13 unterschiedlichen Geräuschen aus, mit denen Mensch ihre Gefühle ohne Worte ausdrücken konnten, also zum Beispiel Hä? Huch! Ahh! Hui! und whatnot. Nun haben Forscher in einer neuen Studie mindestens 24 unterschiedliche Stimmgeräusche unterschieden und die ganzen Awwwws, Wheeees, Tsssss‘ und Ufffs auf einer ganz wunderbaren Karte verzeichnet, die auf MouseOver das komplette Spektrum der menschlichen Emotionen runterleiert: Aaawwheeuuhhmmwhaaarrghh… und so weiter.
Discover Magazine: These Are the 24 Sounds Humans Use to Communicate Without Words
Ever catch yourself letting out a frustrated sigh, a squeal of delight or maybe a gasp of terror? These off-the-cuff vocalizations are called vocal bursts. And in a new study, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley have mapped out a record number of them.
To start things off, the researchers asked 56 people, some professional actors and some not, to react to different emotional scenarios. From these reactions, the team recorded more than 2,000 vocal bursts. Next, they used Amazon Mechanical Turk, a website that enables you to outsource tasks you can’t relegate to computers, to recruit more than 1,000 people to listen to the recordings. As the recruits listened, the researchers had them rate the vocalizations based on the emotions and tone (positive or negative) they thought the clips conveyed.
Previous studies had pegged the number of emotions we can express with vocal bursts at around 13. But when the UC Berkeley team analyzed their results, they found there are at least 24 distinct ways that humans convey meaning without words.
“Our findings show that the voice is a much more powerful tool for expressing emotion than previously assumed,” said study lead author Alan Cowen, a psychology graduate at UC Berkeley, in a press release.