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Abstract

This study focused on how emotional expressions are implied through visual and vocal behaviors. The roles of proportion gaze, glance duration, and vocal loudness in expressing emotional positivity and intensity were examined. Emotional positivity, emotional intensity, and target of the communication were manipulated in a mixed design. Forty-eight female subjects performed a liking or an anger message to a man and to a camera with strong and weak intensity. Videotaped responses were analyzed. Strong emotional intensity conditions evoked more direct gaze regardless of the message positivity or the target of the emotional expression. Longer glances and louder speech were associated with only intense negative emotional expression regardless of the target of the expression. The proportion gaze data support the view that eye contact serves as an intensifier of affective expression. Methodological considerations and questions about generalizability are discussed.