Brescia Psychology Undergraduate Honours Theses

Date of Award

Spring 4-9-2019

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. John Mitchell

Abstract

This study investigated how individuals’ mood influences changes in spoken language during dyadic social interaction. Twenty-eight female undergraduate students completed mood assessments, a self-monitoring questionnaire, and viewed a short film clip that induced them into either a positive, negative, or neutral mood. Each dyad engaged in a conversation that was audio-recorded. Participants’ use of affect and positive emotional words was associated with the corresponding usage of their conversational partner, suggesting that speakers mimicked their partners’ language style. Speakers also used higher emotional tone in their first minute of speech after conversing with someone in a positive mood, suggesting participants’ mood influenced the emotional valence of their partners’ language. Self-monitoring was associated with language style matching, however, in the opposite direction that was expected. The overall results of this study offer an original account of how mood influences language styles to shift and transfer to others during face-to-face conversation.

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