|Seduction: Low Voice May Signal Attraction|
|Living - Relationships|
|TS-Si News Service|
|Thursday, 20 May 2010 20:00|
Reading, PA, USA. Flirtation may seem like a largely visual activity — the preening, the coy eye contact — but lowering your voice may be a more direct means of demonstrating attraction.
A study in the Journal of Nonverbal Behavior reports on a group of younger adults who used Skype to leave scripted voice-messages while viewing a picture of a fictitious person who was projected as the recipient of the the message. The participants looked at men and women who varied in their attractiveness. The research also measured the awareness of people to changes in the voices of others.
Susan Hughes, assistant professor of psychology at Albright College, and her colleagues, expected that women would raise their voices to sound more feminine and attractive. To their surprise, the researchers found that both sexes used a lower-pitch voice and showed a higher level of physiological arousal when speaking to a more attractive opposite-sex target
"There appears to be a common stereotype in our culture that deems a sexy female voice as one that sounds husky, breathy, and lower-pitched," says Hughes. Female voice manipulation suggests that altering their tone may be a learned behavior based on sexual voice stereotypes rather than actual vocal characteristics of attractiveness.
"When a woman naturally lowers her voice, it may be perceived as her attempt to sound more seductive or attractive, and therefore serves as a signal of her romantic interest." Hughes says this suggests that "the motivation to display a sexy/seductive female voice may conflict with the motivation to sound more feminine."
Says Hughes, "The sound of a voice can communicate a wealth of biologically and socially important information." "These findings may have implications for the important role voice plays in mate selection and attraction," she says.
"If people can perceive changes in others' voices when speaking to attractive individuals, this perception may be adaptive for identifying interested potential mates, detecting partner interest in others, and possible detection of partner infidelity."
CitationVocal and Physiological Changes in Response to the Physical Attractiveness of Controversial Partners. Susan M. Hughes, Sally D. Farley and Bradley C. Rhodes. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior 2010; ePub ahead of print. doi:10.1007/s10919-010-0087-9. ISSN 0191-5886 (Print); 1573-3653 (Online)
We examined how individuals may change their voices when speaking to attractive versus unattractive individuals, and if it were possible for others to perceive these vocal changes. In addition, we examined if any concurrent physiological effects occurred when speaking with individuals who varied in physical attractiveness. We found that both sexes used a lower-pitched voice and showed a higher level of physiological arousal when speaking to the more attractive, opposite-sex target. Furthermore, independent raters evaluated the voice samples directed toward the attractive target (versus the unattractive target) as sounding more pleasant when the two voice samples from the same person presented had a reasonably perceptually noticeable difference in pitch. These findings may have implications for the role voice plays in mate selection and attraction.
Keywords: vocal changes, attractiveness, voice, physiological responses, romantic attraction.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 20 May 2010 19:50|