Are Deep Voices More Persuasive?

It is well-known that non-human animals respond to information encoded in vocal signals, and the same can be said of humans. Specifically, human voice pitch affects how speakers are perceived. As such, does voice pitch affect how we perceive and select our leaders? To answer this question we recorded men and women saying “I urge you to vote for me this November.” Each recording was manipulated digitally to yield a higher- and lower-pitched version of the original. We then asked men and women to vote for either the lower- or higher-pitched version of each voice. Our results show that both men and women select male and female leaders with lower voices. These findings suggest that because women, on average, have higher-pitched voices than men, voice pitch could be a factor that contributes to fewer women holding leadership roles than men.

From a new paper by Casey Klofstad, Rindy Anderson, and Susan Peters.


Ah, well, you didn't check to see if this was merely a cultural artifact, although I would believe it is certainly true of our society. And one reason I hate to hear so many young women shrieking and screeching in their high pitched voices, when their normal voices are much lower. Even newscasters are doing this, and their voices are both annoying and hard to take seriously. I think this is called infantilization of women.

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