Everyone has at some point been charmed by the sound of a person’s voice: but can we believe our ears? What can a voice really reveal about our character? Today, an international research team led by the University of Göttingen has shown that people seem to express at least some aspects of their personality with their voice. Researchers have found that a lower voice is associated with individuals who are more dominant, outgoing, and higher in sociosexuality (more interested in casual sex). The results were valid for women as well as for men. The results were published in the Personality Research Journal.
The researchers analyzed data from more than 2,000 participants and included information from four different countries. Participants filled out questionnaires on themselves to measure their personality and provided recordings of their voices so that height could be measured using a computer program. This is the first time that an objective digital measurement of voice pitch has been used in a study of this type, rather than subjective assessments of how a voice can sound “high” or “deep”. Researchers measured “sociosexuality” by collecting responses on sexual behavior, attitude and desire. They also collected data to assess dominance and other character traits such as neuroticism, extraversion, openness to experience, coziness, and awareness. The number of participants confirms the robustness of the results: the study concerns the largest number to date compared to similar research on this topic.
Researchers found that people with low voices were more dominant, outgoing, and higher in sociosexuality (for example, were more interested in sex outside of a relationship). However, the relationship between pitch of voice and other personality traits (such as coziness, neuroticism, awareness, or openness) seems less clear. These traits may not be expressed in the pitch of the voices. The researchers found no difference between men and women.
“People’s voices can make a huge and immediate impression on us,” says Dr Julia Stern of the Biological Personality Psychology group at the University of Göttingen. “Even if we just hear someone’s voice without any visual clue – for example on the phone – we know very quickly whether we are talking to a man, a woman, a child or an elderly person. We can determine if the person seems interested, friendly, sad, nervous, or if they have an appealing voice. We’re also starting to make assumptions about trust and dominance. This led Stern to question whether these assumptions were justified. “The first step was to determine whether voices are indeed related to people’s personalities. And our results suggest that people seem to express certain aspects of their personality with their voice. voice.
This study was conducted as a ‘recorded report’, which means that it enjoys peer review by other researchers at a very early stage and has been accepted for publication regardless of the results. It is one of the new quality indicators developed to make science more transparent and reliable.
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