LISTENING TO PEOPLE’S VOICES ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW IF THEY’RE A CHEATER
In most cases we’d assume that this finding is as obvious as it is unreliable. But that’s the surprise, the numbers show that this offers some reliable results. If you’ve ever wondered if your partner is cheating on you, science has provided a new study with surprising results about finding out the answer. It can be as simple as merely listening to the tone of their voice when they speak.
UNDERGRAD SUBJECTS LISTEN TO VOICES COUNT TO 10, IDENTIFY IF THE SPEAKER IS A CHEATER
The research involved 152 undergraduate students who participated in the analysis. 64 of themwere men, the remaining 88 were women. All 152 participants self-identified as heterosexual. Their ages ranged from 18 to 32. They were tasked with listening carefully to recordings of other people’s voices and, based purely on instinct, ascertain if the speakers had cheated in a relationship, or not. The recorded voices were all people in monogamous relationships and just had to count from one to ten, which was all the source material needed to conduct the study.
“Evidence suggests that many physical, behavioral, and trait qualities can be detected solely from the sound of a person’s voice, irrespective of the semantic information conveyed through speech,” explained the study’s authors Susan Hughes and Marissa Harrison in their paper.
Half of the people in the voice samples had admitted to being intimate with someone else when they were in a relationship, whilst the others who were also in a relationship had remained loyal towards their partners.
The researchers conducting this study wanted to make sure the voices sounded similar, so for that reason those on the recording were white, heterosexual and single or in a relationship. To control for whether pitch played a part in “sounding like a cheater” voice recordings were made in a lower pitch and higher pitch, volunteers then had the opportunity to rate it from one to 10, with 10 being more likely.
RESULTS NOT FOOLPROOF, BUT EXCEPTIONS CAN BE IDENTIFIED
The results revealed that they had indeed “found that participants indeed rated the voices of those who had a history of cheating as more likely to cheat.” It appeared people really were able to tell who were the cheaters, regardless of the participants’ pitch being distorted. Hughes told The Washington Post that women with low voices are deemed to be seen as “sexier” and more “flirtatious”, which probably explains why the research showed that men rated women with lower voices more likely to cheat. “While we cannot exactly pinpoint all the features about a voice that our perceptual system is using to make this assessment, we know that pitch plays a role, but does not represent the entire picture,” the authors admitted. However, they speculated that there are signals that we might be recognizing, such as extroverts – who are more likely to cheat – speak with fewer pauses and vary pitch more frequently.