Paralanguage and the interpersonal impact of dysphoria: It's not what you say but how you say it

John R. Paddock1, Stephen Nowicki, Jr.2
1Kennesaw College, United States
2Emory University, United States
Cite this article:  Paddock, J. , & Nowicki, Jr., S. (1986). Paralanguage and the interpersonal impact of dysphoria: It's not what you say but how you say it. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 14, 29-44.

Volume 14 Issue 1 | e485 | Published: February 1986 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.1986.14.1.29

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Researchers have shown that clinically depressed persons and dysphoric normals have a negative impact on others. In this study we aimed to identify what about the dysphoric paralinguistic style creates the aversive impact experienced by others. Results suggest that moderately dysphoric normals are rejected to the extent that they speak in relatively soft, flat tones, with long pauses before “taking the floor” for an extended period of time. In addition, these persons pulled for rejection to the extent that their speech varied in loudness and pitch over a 15-minute telephone interaction. Implications for both Coyne's (1976a) interpersonal conceptualization of depression as well as future research and psychotherapy were discussed.
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