Eleven schizophrenic psychotic and 11 manic psychotic patients have been compared with each other and with a reference group of 34 dentists with respect to their emotional experience of seven complex nonverbal sounds. A rating form was used which measures three factors of emotional perception: tension-relaxation (factor I), gaiety-gloom (factor II), and attraction-repulsion (factor III). Analyses of variance of the factor scores revealed main tendencies between the psychopathological groups in factor I and III, i.e. schizophrenic psychotics rated the sounds generally as more tense and more attractive than manic psychotics. The manic psychotics rated the sounds as generally less tense and very much more attractive than the other groups. In factor II the manic psychotics rated one piece as significantly more gay than the other groups. It is discussed in what ways these differences of complex sound perception may be related to characteristic symptoms of the psychopathological states. No convincing evidence may be drawn from this study supporting the assumption that the two psychopathological groups might differ in a specific way in relation to any elementary structural property of the sounds.