Accession Number:



Vocal Accommodation Within Nonverbal Frequencies as a Marker of Status, Dominance, and Prestige

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Final Report]

Corporate Author:

University of North Carolina - Charlotte

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Major Goals Recent scientific advances have allowed researchers access to individuals non-conscious processes and behaviors to an impressive extent. When examining socially sensitive processes like status inequality, examining non-conscious behaviors allows us to circumvent self-serving biases that might appear when directly asking individuals about their behavior. One such non-conscious behaviorvocal accommodation within the nonverbal frequency bands may serve as an indicator of actors social status, whereby lower status actors engage in a substantially greater degree of behavioral accommodation than their higher status counterparts. Research on vocal accommodation offers the potential for an unobtrusive measure of status that can be obtained covertly. The purpose of the ongoing research is to develop a better understanding of the relationship between social status and vocal accommodation within the nonverbal band by examining patterns of accommodation and social influence in status-differentiated task groups. Existing research about the relationships among status, dominance, prestige, and vocal accommodation points to a number of opportunities to advance the scientific understanding of the processes at work. The proposed studies can help advance knowledge on the nonconscious communication of dominance and deference in three ways 1 by assessing the extent to which accommodation in the nonverbal vocal range predicts influence between status-differentiated task partners 2 by comparing patterns of influence between groups engaged in cooperative tasks and those engaged in competitive tasks to examine how vocal accommodation functions based on specific task motivations and 3 by differentiating the unique effects of dominance and deference on perceptions of social status. The recently completed studies advance the interdisciplinary social scientific understanding of status processes by linking status structures to biological processes.

Subject Categories:

  • Psychology
  • Linguistics
  • Sociology and Law

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]