Paralanguage and the Interpersonal Impact of Dysphoria: It's Not What You Say but How You Say It

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Investigated the relationship between paralanguage and the negative interpersonal impact evoked in 30 normal female undergraduates by depressed mood among 15 female undergraduate dysphoric targets and 15 maladjusted controls (as determined by the Beck Depression Inventory and the State–Trait Anxiety Inventory). Results suggest that moderately dysphoric targets were rejected to the extent that they spoke in relatively soft, flat tones, with long pauses before "taking the floor" for an extended period of time. In addition, they pulled for rejection to the extent that their speech varied in loudness and pitch over a 15-min telephone interaction. Implications for J. C. Coyne's (see record 1979-01146-001) interpersonal conceptualization of depression are discussed.