Sex related differences in the perception and production of emotional prosody in adults


Psychological Research, vol.88, no.2, pp.449-457, 2024 (SSCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 88 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2024
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s00426-023-01865-1
  • Journal Name: Psychological Research
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, IBZ Online, PASCAL, Periodicals Index Online, ABI/INFORM, BIOSIS, Business Source Elite, Business Source Premier, Psycinfo
  • Page Numbers: pp.449-457
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


This study aimed to investigate the features of sex-related emotional prosody production patterns and perception abilities in adult speakers. The study involved 42 native Turkish speakers (27 females and 15 males). Sex-related perception and production of the emotions “anger,” “joy,” “sadness,” and “neutral” were examined. Participants were first asked to indicate the actor's emotional state by selecting one of the given emotion alternatives provided. They were then instructed to produce the same stimuli with varying emotions. We analyzed the change in voice characteristics employed in different emotions in terms of F0 (Hz), speaking rate (seconds), and intensity (dB) using pairwise emotion comparison. The findings showed no sex differences in emotional prosody perceptions (p = 0.725). However, differences in the production of emotional prosody between sex have been documented in pitch variation of speech. Within-group analyses revealed that women tended to use a higher pitch when expressing joy versus sadness and a neutral state of feeling. Both men and women exhibited varying loudness levels for different emotional states in the speech loudness analysis. When expressing sadness, both men and women speak slower than when expressing as contrasted to anger, joy, or neutral states of feeling. Although Turkish speakers’ ability to perceive emotional prosody is similar to that of other languages, they favor speech loudness fluctuation in the production of emotional prosody.