- Joint effect of alexithymia and mood on the categorization of nonverbal emotional vocalizations
- Psychiatry Research
- Volume | Issue number
- 216 | 2
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
The role of stable factors, such as alexithymia (i.e., difficulties identifying and expressing feelings, externally oriented cognitive style), or temporary factors, such as affective states (mood), on emotion perception has been widely investigated in the literature. However, little is known about the separate or joint effect of the alexithymia level and affective states (positive affectivity, negative affectivity) on the recognition of nonverbal emotional vocalizations (NEV) (e.g., laughs, cries, or sighs). In this study, participants had to categorize NEV communicating 10 emotions by selecting the correct verbal emotional label. Results show that the level of alexithymia is negatively correlated to the capacity to accurately categorize negative vocalizations, and more particularly sad NEV. On the other hand, negative affectivity appeared negatively correlated with the ability to accurately categorize NEV in general, and negative vocalizations in particular. After splitting the results by the alexithymia level (high vs. low scorers), significant associations between mood and accuracy rates were found in the group of high alexithymia scorers only. These findings support the idea that alexithymic features act across sensory modalities and suggest a mood-interference effect that would be stronger in those individuals.
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