Quantifying the Role of Prosody in the Perception of Deception

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This work investigates the relationship between inflection and perceived honesty in Canadian English, specifically testing whether a terminal rising inflection is perceived as more dishonest than a falling terminal inflection. Canadian English listeners heard pairs of sentence stimuli which differed only in terms of a final falling, neutral, or rising intonation contour and judged which sentence in each pair sounded more “honest”. I found that speech with a rising intonation is perceived as significantly less honest than speech with either flat or falling intonation. Then, I trained an Exemplar model (Johnson, 1997) and a neural network model, which were both able to match listener performance with roughly 60% accuracy. This result is significantly better than chance, but leaves much room for improvement. It provides a realistic view into how intonation clearly influences the perception of honesty, but with it being just one of many factors playing a role in this judgment.
Deception, Speech Perception
Rey, L. T. M. (2021). Quantifying the Role of Prosody in the Perception of Deception (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.