Christina S. Soma, Bruce E. Wampold, Nikolaos Flemotomos, Raghuveer Peri, Shrikanth Narayanan, David C. Atkins, and Zac E. Imel. The Silent Treatment? Changes in patient emotional expression after silence. Counselling and Psychotherapy Research, pp. 1–11, 2022.

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Abstract

Abstract Psychotherapy can be an emotionally laden conversation, where both verbal and nonverbal interventions may impact the therapeutic process. Prior research has postulated mixed results regarding how clients emotionally react following a silence after the therapist is finished talking, potentially due to studying a limited range of silences with primarily qualitative and self-report methodologies. A quantitative exploration may illuminate new findings. Utilising research and automatic data processing from the field of linguistics, we analysed the full range of silence lengths (0.2–24.01 s), and measures of emotional expression—vocally encoded arousal and emotional valence from the works spoken—of 84 audio recordings of Motivational Interviewing sessions. We hypothesised that both the level and the variance of client emotional expression would change as a function of silence length; however, due to the mixed results in the literature, the direction of emotional change was unclear. We conducted a multilevel linear regression to examine how the level of client emotional expression changed across silence length, and an ANOVA to examine the variability of client emotional expression across silence lengths. Results of both analyses indicated that as silence length increased, emotional expression largely remained the same. Broadly, we demonstrated a weak connection between silence length and emotional expression, indicating no persuasive evidence that silence leads to client emotional processing and expression.

BibTeX Entry

@article{SomaCPR2022,
title = {The Silent Treatment? Changes in patient emotional expression after silence},
journal = {Counselling and Psychotherapy Research},
pages = {1-11},
year = {2022},
doi = {https://doi.org/10.1002/capr.12537},
link = {http://sail.usc.edu/publications/files/Soma-CPR2022.pdf}
url = {https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0885230822000213},
author = {Soma, Christina S. and Wampold, Bruce E. and Flemotomos, Nikolaos and Peri, Raghuveer and Narayanan, Shrikanth and Atkins, David C. and Imel, Zac E.},
keywords = {emotional process, psychotherapy research, linguistics, vocal features, silence},
abstract = {Abstract Psychotherapy can be an emotionally laden conversation, where both verbal and nonverbal interventions may impact the therapeutic process. Prior research has postulated mixed results regarding how clients emotionally react following a silence after the therapist is finished talking, potentially due to studying a limited range of silences with primarily qualitative and self-report methodologies. A quantitative exploration may illuminate new findings. Utilising research and automatic data processing from the field of linguistics, we analysed the full range of silence lengths (0.2–24.01 s), and measures of emotional expression—vocally encoded arousal and emotional valence from the works spoken—of 84 audio recordings of Motivational Interviewing sessions. We hypothesised that both the level and the variance of client emotional expression would change as a function of silence length; however, due to the mixed results in the literature, the direction of emotional change was unclear. We conducted a multilevel linear regression to examine how the level of client emotional expression changed across silence length, and an ANOVA to examine the variability of client emotional expression across silence lengths. Results of both analyses indicated that as silence length increased, emotional expression largely remained the same. Broadly, we demonstrated a weak connection between silence length and emotional expression, indicating no persuasive evidence that silence leads to client emotional processing and expression.}
}

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