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Speech Stress Assessment using Physiological and Psychological Measures

Aguiar, A. ; Kaiseler, M. ; Meinedo, H. ; Abrudan, T. ; Rocha Almeida, P. R.

Speech Stress Assessment using Physiological and Psychological Measures, Proc ACM Workshop on Mobile Systems for Computational Social Science - MCSS, Zurich, Switzerland, Vol. 1, pp. 1 - 6, September, 2013.

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Abstract
Emotional stress is commonly experienced while speaking in public, producing changes to the various speech productions subsystems, affecting the speech signal in predictable ways and being easily conveyed to listeners. Speech stress indicators, however, are typically studied under laboratory settings, allowing little generalization to real life settings. To bridge this gap, we propose an interdisciplinary approach to assess speech stress during public speaking events based on a platform that records speech simultaneously annotated with physiological and psychological measures. This approach enables the collection of a large corpus of annotated speech in ecological settings, i.e. in objectively stressing situations. We also propose and implement a methodology to assess listeners' evaluation of stress including psychologists, and the overall public.

The platform has been in use for the past months, and we have collected 13 complete samples after the initial iterative development procedure. Preliminary results indicate that the proposed user-friendly platform is an accurate and robust method to collect annotated speech under ecological settings that can be processed to obtain speech stress indicators. The findings will be used primarily in the design of computer and mobile assisted voice coaching applications, but the outreach extends to mobile emotion sensing for individuals and crowds.