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Journal Articles Cognition Year : 2021

Distinct signatures of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in speech prosody

Abstract

Whether speech prosody truly and naturally reflects a speaker's subjective confidence, rather than other dimensions such as objective accuracy, is unclear. Here, using a new approach combing psychophysics with acoustic analysis and automatic classification of verbal reports, we tease apart the contributions of sensory evidence, accuracy, and subjective confidence to speech prosody. We find that subjective confidence and objective accuracy are distinctly reflected in the loudness, duration and intonation of verbal reports. Strikingly, we show that a speaker's accuracy is encoded in speech prosody beyond their own metacognitive awareness, and that it can be automatically decoded from this information alone with performances up to 60%. These findings demonstrate that confidence and accuracy have separable prosodic signatures that are manifested with different timings, and on different acoustic dimensions. Thus, both subjective mental states of confidence, and objective states related to competence, can be directly inferred from this natural behavior.
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Dates and versions

hal-03263512 , version 1 (17-06-2021)

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Louise Goupil, Jean-Julien Aucouturier. Distinct signatures of subjective confidence and objective accuracy in speech prosody. Cognition, 2021, 212, pp.104661. ⟨10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104661⟩. ⟨hal-03263512⟩
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