Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Male voices reveal owner's strength


Hmmm . . . This is an interesting finding. I would not guess people could make an accurate guess about my upper body strength from my voice.

This is from New Scientist.

Male voices reveal owner's strength

16 June 2010 by Ewen Callaway

You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake, but his voice may give away even more. Both men and women can accurately assess a man's upper body strength based on his voice alone, suggesting that the male voice may have evolved as an indicator of fighting ability.

A team led by Aaron Sell at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recorded the voices of more than 200 men from the US, Argentina, Bolivia and Romania, who all repeated a short phrase in their native tongue. Sell's team also put the men through a battery of tests of upper body strength.

Do I sound strong?

When university students listened to the recordings, they accurately predicted the strength of the men, based on a seven-point scale from "weak" to "strong" – regardless of the language used. The voice analysis provided just as much information about a speaker's strength as photographs.

What aspects of voice we link with strength remain unknown, since there was no correlation between a man's strength and the pitch or timbre of his voice. That's surprising, says David Puts at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, since previous research showed deeper voices were rated as coming from stronger men.

Journal reference: Proceedings of the Royal Society B, DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2010.0769

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