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Owren, M. J., & Bachorowski, J.-A. (2003). Reconsidering the evolution of nonlinguistic communication: The case of laughter. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 27(3), 183–200. 
Added by: sirfragalot (05/05/2009 08:31:31 AM)   
Resource type: Journal Article
Peer reviewed
BibTeX citation key: Owren2003
View all bibliographic details
Categories: General
Keywords: Emotion, Psychology
Creators: Bachorowski, Owren
Collection: Journal of Nonverbal Behavior
Views: 4/395
Abstract
"Nonlinguistic communication is typically proposed to convey representational messages, implying that particular signals are associated with specific signaler emotions, intentions, or external referents. However, common signals produced by both nonhuman primates and humans may not exhibit such specificity, with human laughter for example showing significant diversity in both acoustic form and production context. We therefore outline an alternative to the representational approach, arguing that laughter and other nonlinguistic vocalizations are used to influence the affective states of listeners, thereby also affecting their behavior. In the case of laughter, we propose a primary function of accentuating or inducing positive affect in the perceiver in order to promote a more favorable stance toward the laugher. Two simple strategies are identified, namely producing laughter with acoustic features that have an immediate impact on listener arousal, and pairing these sounds with positive affect in the listener to create learned affective responses. Both depend on factors like the listener’s current emotional state and past interactions with the vocalizer, with laughers predicted to adjust their sounds accordingly. This approach is used to explain findings from two experimental studies that examined the use of laughter in same-sex and different-sex dyads composed of either friends or strangers, and may be applicable to other forms of nonlinguistic communication."
Added by: sirfragalot  
Notes
Interesting paper that suggests that primates can affect and arouse particular emotions in others through either manipulation of the acoustics and parameters of sound (the direct method) or through impressing upon others a conditioned response by association of a particular sound with a particular event (the indirect method: thereafter, the sound becomes associated with the affect aroused by the event). Such ideas might be applicable to human laughter.
Added by: sirfragalot  Last edited by: sirfragalot
Quotes
p.187   Arguing for affect-induction responses to primate vocalizations, the authors argue that: "The affect-induction approach differs from representational accounts in arguing that the primary function of calling is to influence listener attention, arousal, and emotion rather than to transmit information."   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Emotion
p.195   Differentiating between affect-induction and representational theories: "signals are used not to convey information about underlying state, but rather to influence perceiver affect and associated behavior."   Added by: sirfragalot
Keywords:   Emotion
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