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Speakers are more cooperative and less individual when interacting in larger group sizes


Pellegrino, Elisa; Dellwo, Volker (2023). Speakers are more cooperative and less individual when interacting in larger group sizes. Frontiers in Psychology, 14:1145572.

Abstract

Introduction: Cooperation, acoustically signaled through vocal convergence, is facilitated when group members are more similar. Excessive vocal convergence may, however, weaken individual recognizability. This study aimed to explore whether constraints to convergence can arise in circumstances where interlocutors need to enhance their vocal individuality. Therefore, we tested the effects of group size (3 and 5 interactants) on vocal convergence and individualization in a social communication scenario in which individual recognition by voice is at stake. Methods: In an interactive game, players had to recognize each other through their voices while solving a cooperative task online. The vocal similarity was quantified through similarities in speaker i-vectors obtained through probabilistic linear discriminant analysis (PLDA). Speaker recognition performance was measured through the system Equal Error Rate (EER). Results: Vocal similarity between-speakers increased with a larger group size which indicates a higher cooperative vocal behavior. At the same time, there wasan increase in EER for the same speakers between the smaller and the largergroup size, meaning a decrease in overall recognition performance. Discussion: The decrease in vocal individualization in the larger group size suggests thatingroup cooperation and social cohesion conveyed through acoustic convergence have priority over individualization in larger groups of unacquainted speakers.

Abstract

Introduction: Cooperation, acoustically signaled through vocal convergence, is facilitated when group members are more similar. Excessive vocal convergence may, however, weaken individual recognizability. This study aimed to explore whether constraints to convergence can arise in circumstances where interlocutors need to enhance their vocal individuality. Therefore, we tested the effects of group size (3 and 5 interactants) on vocal convergence and individualization in a social communication scenario in which individual recognition by voice is at stake. Methods: In an interactive game, players had to recognize each other through their voices while solving a cooperative task online. The vocal similarity was quantified through similarities in speaker i-vectors obtained through probabilistic linear discriminant analysis (PLDA). Speaker recognition performance was measured through the system Equal Error Rate (EER). Results: Vocal similarity between-speakers increased with a larger group size which indicates a higher cooperative vocal behavior. At the same time, there wasan increase in EER for the same speakers between the smaller and the largergroup size, meaning a decrease in overall recognition performance. Discussion: The decrease in vocal individualization in the larger group size suggests thatingroup cooperation and social cohesion conveyed through acoustic convergence have priority over individualization in larger groups of unacquainted speakers.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Computational Linguistics
06 Faculty of Arts > Zurich Center for Linguistics
Special Collections > NCCR Evolving Language
Special Collections > Centers of Competence > Center for the Interdisciplinary Study of Language Evolution
06 Faculty of Arts > Linguistic Research Infrastructure (LiRI)
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
890 Other literatures
410 Linguistics
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > General Psychology
Language:English
Date:5 June 2023
Deposited On:11 Jul 2023 09:48
Last Modified:29 Apr 2024 01:38
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN:1664-1078
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1145572
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID180888
  • : Project TitleNCCR Evolving Language (phase I)
  • Content: Published Version
  • Language: English
  • Licence: Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)