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Revista Brasileira de Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 1516-4446


PALINKAS-SANCHES, Elaine et al. Vocal analysis of suicidal movie characters. Rev. Bras. Psiquiatr. [online]. 2010, vol.32, n.4, pp.409-415.  Epub June 25, 2010. ISSN 1516-4446.

OBJECTIVE: The aim of this study was to describe the auditory-perceptive evaluation and the psychodynamic aspects of voice samples among suicidal movie characters. METHOD: Voice samples of 48 characters (27 male, 21 female), extracted from 36 movies produced between 1968 and 2006, were analyzed. The samples were evaluated through a specific protocol focusing on the auditory-perceptive evaluation (voice quality, resonance, pitch, loudness, modulation, pauses, articulation and rhythm) and the psychodynamic aspects of voice. RESULTS: 85.5% of the samples exhibited abnormal findings in at least five parameters of the auditory-perceptive analysis, such as breathiness (n = 42; 87.5% of the samples), hoarseness (n = 39; 81.2%) and strain (n = 29; 60.4%), as well as laryngopharingeal resonance (n = 39; 81.2%), either high pitch (n = 14; 29.2%), or decreased loudness (n = 31; 64.6%). With respect to the psychodynamic aspects, dismay was detected in 50% (n = 24) of the samples, hopelessness in 47.9% (n = 23), resignation in 37.5% (n = 18), and sadness in 33.3% (n = 16). CONCLUSION: Our findings suggest the existence of specific patterns used by actors during the interpretation of suicidal characters. The replication of these findings among real patients may contribute to improvement in the evaluation of potential suicidal patients, as well as the implementation of preventive measures.

Keywords : Suicide; Voice; Motion pictures as topic; Intention to treat analysis; Evaluation of results of preventive actions.

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