The role of embodied emotions in perceptual decisions and categorization of sounds
How do people react emotionally to sound? In particular how does emotion affect interpretation, perceptual judgment and categorization of auditory stimuli? This thesis explored 1) how sound and emotion relate to each other, 2) whether this relationship can be modified by embodied associations and 3) if the emotional responses influence the perceptual decisions of sounds. Paper I investigated the emotional reactions to the perception of the acoustic properties of frequency and intensity. Paper II investigated whether the relationship between emotion and perception could be associated with each other through an embodied perspective. Paper III further investigated the embodied relations, using thermal stimuli instead, to discern whether embodied associations would influence information processing. Paper IV and Paper V examined whether emotional responses influence the perceptual decisions of sound, and whether additional non-physical factors in the sound affect this relationship.
Taken together, in each of the empirical studies we may conclude that emotions are central for perception and perceptual decisions of sounds. Further, this relationship must take the embodied perspective into account. The co-experiences of emotional responses and perceptual aspects appear to create a robust association pattern that affects both inter-personal relations as well as intra-personal reactions. It may also be concluded that there are several application possibilities in the intersection between emotion, perception and cognition, both concerning general health and well-being as well as in sound design of various products.