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Emotion in language and speech: methodological issues in the coding of natural data

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/2000
<mark>Journal</mark>Language and Speech
Issue number4
Volume43
Number of pages21
Pages (from-to)355-375
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

Researchers currently seek to improve validity in speech and language studies by adopting naturalistic procedures In emotion-display research, validity is threatened by standard experimental controls which diminish the naturalism of stimuli and responseranges. Were port two experiments comparing the adequacy of naturalistic with standard procedures. Experiment 1 had 158 judges code 89 samples of naturally-occurring emotional speech with free- choice emotion labels, and later with labels from a standard set. When free-choice labels were similar across judges, they were consistent with standard labels, but showed a range of intensity and contextual relevance. We recommend that future studies include wider options for judges when coding emotions. Experiment 2 compared valency ratings of words when presented in, or out of, context. Standard procedures score lexical valencies using affective dictionaries, disregarding natural contexts. Experiment 2 compared 23 judges' valency ratings of words presented individually, and later in their original context. Between 30% and 44% of words were rated differently in context (depending on the statistical significance level adopted). We concluded from Experiment 2 that, where small corpora adequately model a domain, the improved accuracy of valency rating achieved by presenting words in their natural context justifies the extra procedures required.