I know that voice! Mothers’ voices influence children’s perceptions of emotional intensity

The ability to interpret others’ emotions is a critical skill for children’s socioemotional functioning. Although research has emphasized facial emotion expressions, children are also constantly required to interpret vocal emotion expressed at or around them by individuals who are both familiar and unfamiliar to them. The current study examined how speaker familiarity, specific emotions, and the acoustic properties that comprise affective prosody influenced children’s interpretations of emotional intensity. Participants were 51 7- and 8-year-olds presented with speech stimuli spoken in happy, angry, sad, and nonemotional prosodies by both each child’s mother and another child’s mother unfamiliar to the target child. Analyses indicated that children rated their own mothers as more intensely emotional compared with the unfamiliar mothers and that this effect was specific to angry and happy prosodies. Furthermore, the acoustic properties predicted children’s emotional intensity ratings in different patterns for each emotion. The results are discussed in terms of the significance of the mother’s voice in children’s development of emotional understanding.



Work Title I know that voice! Mothers’ voices influence children’s perceptions of emotional intensity
Open Access
  1. Koraly Perez-Edgar
  2. Pamela Marie Cole
  3. Rick Owen Gilmore
  4. Kathryn Scherf
  5. Tawni Blaze Stoop
  6. Michelle Celine Vigeant
License In Copyright (Rights Reserved)
Work Type Article
  1. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
Publication Date 2020
Publisher Identifier (DOI)
  1. 10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104907
Deposited March 14, 2021




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Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Creator Koraly Perez-Edgar
  • Added Creator Pamela Marie Cole
  • Added Creator Rick Owen Gilmore
  • Added Creator Kathryn Scherf
  • Added Creator Tawni Blaze Stoop
  • Added Creator Michelle Celine Vigeant
  • Added Stoop et al (2020). JECP.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
    • https://rightsstatements.org/page/InC/1.0/
  • Published
  • Updated Publisher, Publisher Identifier (DOI) Show Changes
    • Journal of Experimental Child Psychology
    Publisher Identifier (DOI)
    • https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104907
    • 10.1016/j.jecp.2020.104907
  • Updated