Posed and spontaneous nonverbal vocalizations of positive emotions: Acoustic analysis and perceptual judgments

  • Roza G. Kamiloğlu University of Amsterdam
  • Disa A. Sauter University of Amsterdam


When experiencing different positive emotional states, like amusement or relief, we may produce nonverbal vocalizations such as laughs and sighs. In the current study, we describe the acoustic structure of posed and spontaneous nonverbal vocalizations of 14 different positive emotions, and test whether listeners (N =201) map the vocalizations to emotions. The results show that vocalizations of 13 different positive emotions were recognized at better-than-chance levels, but not vocalizations of being moved. Emotions varied in whether vocalizations were better recognized from spontaneous or posed expressions.