Durations of all pauses and expiratory sounds in a 10-s bout of infant crying were digitally increased and decreased by 50% to create cries that varied in the duration of pauses and expiratory sounds. Ratings by 40 men and women showed a general monotonic effect of pause duration so that cries with increasingly shorter pauses were perceived to be more arousing, informative, and aversive. The monotonic effect for pause duration was enhanced in an interaction with expiration duration for perceptions of urgency. Results provide the first known experimental evidence of how variations in the temporal structure of infant crying differentially affect adults' perceptions and support views of the cry of the young infant as a graded signal.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Life-span and Life-course Studies