Britta Wrede, Prisca Stenneken
Communication cannot be thought of as pure information exchange. Research on communication has to deal with affective components, i.e. communicating emotions or emotive evaluations of the discussed topics. We hypothesize that successful communication is in part based on an agreement between communication partners on the evaluation of the discussed content. In the course of a debate, that reaches a subjectively or objectively accepted result, they may have aligned their evaluations, their attitudes on the topics and they have aligned their emotional expressions.In our project we will analyze dialogues in real life settings and in more restricted, experimental settings to detect inter-personal parallels and sequences in emotion expression in normal and impaired communication. In this way, a model for “emotional alignment” will be formulated, which will be simulated and evaluated in Human-Robot-Interactions (HRI).
Spontaneous alignment of emotion cues in verbal and nonverbal expression may not be shown in parallel on each communication channel, but can be restricted to the visual (facial expression, gesture and posture), the vocal (voice quality, prosody) or the verbal (conceptual content, form) modality respectively depending on different parameters. These differences will influence inter-personal alignment and intra-personal integration processes. The understanding and processing of conflicting information becomes very important with respect to handicapped persons. We will focus on the communicative behavior of aphasic persons, who often have problems to express differentiated evaluations (verbally) adequate, whereas the nonverbal expression of basic emotions will be quite intact.