Newly in love? It's all in your voice
If you're newly in love with a certain someone, your voice could give you away, a new US study finds. What's more is that since both sexes alter their voices when speaking to lovers versus friends...Updated: Oct 07, 2013 18:19 IST
If you're newly in love with a certain someone, your voice could give you away, a new US study finds.
What's more is that since both sexes alter their voices when speaking to lovers versus friends, such variations could be used to detect infidelity, the researchers say. "It's not just that we change the sound of our voice, but that others can easily perceive those changes," explained researcher Dr. Susan Hughes, an associate professor of psychology at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.
In the study, Hughes and her team examined how people alter their voices, or engage in voice modulation, when speaking to romantic partners versus same-sex friends during brief telephone conversations. Researchers recruited 24 callers who were newly in love, or in the honeymoon phase of their relationships. Subjects were asked to call their romantic partners as well as a close same-sex friend and, in both cases, engage in a light conversation, such as "how are you doing?" and "what are you doing?"
The research team then played the recordings to 80 independent raters who judged the samples for sexiness, pleasantness, and degree of romantic interest. Raters were exposed to only the caller's end of the conversation and, in some cases, for only two seconds. Still, raters could correctly identify the lovers from the friends due to the more pleasant, sexier tones callers used when chatting with a lover.
Using spectrogram analysis, the scientists then examined pitch, with findings showing that both men and women tend to mimic the pitch of their romantic partners -- women go lower while men go higher. Also researchers used paralanguage analysis, which stripped the samples of their content while maintaining elements such as inflection and intonation. In doing so, raters could sense stress, nervousness, and lack of confidence in the voices of the callers speaking to their lovers, which the researchers attributed to the early stages of romantic love.
"There was vulnerability associated with the voices of those newly in love," Hughes said. "Perhaps people don't want to be rejected."
The findings appear online the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.
First Published: Oct 07, 2013 13:59 IST