Pitch affects social perceptions globally
summary: A new study reveals the important role of pitch in shaping social perceptions across different cultures. The study included more than 3,100 participants from 22 countries who rated the audio recordings in terms of attractiveness, attractiveness and prestige.
Low pitch has been universally preferred in long-term relationships and is associated with increased masculinity and prestige in males. This cross-cultural research highlights the evolutionary roots of how voice pitch affects social status and mate choice, highlighting its importance in human interaction and social mobility.
- Lower pitch is universally preferred in long-term relationships, and indicates higher social status and power in males.
- The study’s findings are consistent across 22 countries, suggesting a universal aspect of human psychology related to pitch perception.
- The influence of pitch on social evaluations is influenced by societal factors such as relational mobility and rates of violence, suggesting its ability to adapt to social environments.
source: Pennsylvania state
If you’re looking for a long-term relationship or to boost your social status, lower the tone of your voice, according to researchers who study the effects of tone of voice on social perceptions.
They found that lower pitch makes women and men seem more attractive to potential long-term partners, and lower pitch in males makes an individual appear more cool and status among other men.
The results of the cross-cultural study, published in the journal Psychological scienceshas implications for understanding human evolution and how people today award and evaluate social status.
“Vocal communication is one of the most important human characteristics, and pitch is the most noticeable aspect of the voice,” said David Potts, co-author of the study and a professor of anthropology at Penn State.
“Understanding how pitch affects social perceptions can help us understand social relationships more broadly, how we achieve social status, how we evaluate others on social status, and how we choose our mates.”
To study how tone of voice affects social perceptions, the researchers selected two audio recordings of two males and two females repeating the same sentence. They edited the clips to produce the average pitch of the speaker’s gender plus a higher- and lower-pitch version of each voice, for a total of 12 clips, and divided the clips into male-female-female pairs.
The researchers then asked more than 3,100 participants from 22 countries, representing five continents and New Zealand, to listen to the paired recordings and answer questions about which voice sounded most attractive, flirtatious, formidable, and prestigious.
The researchers found that women and men preferred low-pitched voices when asked which voice they would prefer for a long-term relationship such as marriage. They also found that a lower pitch in a male voice makes an individual’s voice more lush, especially among younger men, and more popular, especially among older men.
Perceptions of grandeur and prestige had a greater impact in societies with greater relational mobility—where group members often interact with outsiders—and more violence.
“We looked at the homicide rate as a way to measure the degree of physical violence in a society, which may have been an important factor in the reproductive success of our male ancestors,” Potts said, explaining that human males often experienced threats of violence in competition for power. Classmates and those who were larger — or who appeared larger — tended to have more success.
“Human males have sexual characteristics, such as upper body muscle mass, that appear to be formed by males using force or the threat of force to win mating opportunities. Low pitch increases volume. It makes an organism, whether a person or a primate Non-human, it looks big and scary.
The fact that cross-cultural study participants viewed the low pitch of male voices as conferring great power and high social status suggests that these characteristics were likely bestowed on our ancestors as well, Potts said.
He likened the effect to the sound of Darth Vader in the Star Wars franchise: no matter where the character goes in the galaxy, the low pitch of his voice is perceived as formidable because larger creatures tend to produce lower frequencies.
“The findings suggest that deep voices evolved in males because our male ancestors frequently interacted with competitors who were strangers, and show how we can use evolutionary thinking and research from non-human animals to predict and understand how our psychology and behaviors vary across social contexts,” Potts said. “Including Across cultures.”
“Male traits such as deep voices and beards are highly socially salient, but this new research shows that the salience of at least one of these traits varies in predictable ways across societies, and suggests that other traits, such as beards, vary as well.”
Additionally, researchers found that men viewed women with higher pitches as more attractive for short-term relationships, while women viewed higher pitched pitches as sounding more flirtatious and more attractive to men.
In societies with low relational mobility, where group members are more likely to know each other, women may view these flirtatious sounds as a threat to existing social networks, according to the researchers.
“Female secondary sexual traits, such as the voice, appear to be much better designed to attract a mate rather than to physically threaten each other,” Potts said.
“We found that we could use relational mobility to predict women’s sensitivity to competitors’ loudness.
“Sensitivity may be higher in societies with low relational mobility because flirtatious behavior poses a threat not only to your romantic relationship, but to your friendships as well.”
Potts said there is a common misconception that early humans lived only in small-scale societies where everyone knew each other. This was sometimes true, but ethnographic and archaeological records show that group sizes were often large.
He added that although many people live in small communities, growing evidence suggests that they periodically join other groups to form large-scale communities numbering in the hundreds or thousands. They sometimes lived in these large groups for months at a time and maintained these social networks even when they returned to live in smaller communities.
“This study suggests that pitch is relevant to social perceptions across societies,” Potts said.
“But it also shows that the extent to which we pay attention to tone of voice when identifying social traits varies across societies and responds to relevant social and cultural variables.
“In a society where there is greater relational mobility and you have less direct information about your competitors, people seem to be more attentive to an easily recognizable cue such as pitch.”
In addition to Potts, other Penn State contributors include former graduate and undergraduate students Tu Aung, first author and now an assistant professor at Immaculata University; Alexander Hill, associate teaching professor at the University of Washington; Jessica Haley, a doctoral candidate at Boston University; Katherine Hess, currently at SanTan Behavioral Health; Michael Hess, who currently works for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection; Janie Johnson; Leslie Doll; Sarah Carlson, currently director of market research at Penn State; Caroline Majdink; and Colin Jarre, who currently works at Unilever Food Solutions. Additional contributors represent colleges and universities throughout the United States, Mexico, Canada, India, New Zealand, Scotland, the Netherlands, Chile, Singapore, Germany, Brazil, and China.
About Social Cognition Research News
author: Francisco Totila
source: Pennsylvania state
communication: Francisco Totila – Penn State
picture: Image credited to Neuroscience News
Original search: Open access.
“Effects of tone of voice on social perceptions vary by relational mobility and homicide rate” by David Potts et al. Psychological sciences
The effects of pitch on social perceptions vary with relational mobility and homicide rate
Fundamental frequency ( Fs) is the most perceptually salient acoustic acoustic parameter, yet little is known about how its perceptual impact varies across societies.
We have studied how Fs Affects key social perceptions and how socioenvironmental variables modify these influences in 2,647 adult listeners sampled from 44 sites across 22 countries.
Low male Fs Increase men’s perceptions of grandeur and prestige, especially in societies with high homicide rates and increased relational mobility where male heterosexual competition may be more intense and rapid identification of high-status rivals may be urgent.
High female Fs Women’s perceptions of courtship increased as relational mobility was less and threats to mating relationships may be greater.
These results indicate that the effectFs The influence of social perceptions depends on socioecological variables, including those related to competition for status and mates.