Feeds

What can you learn from the sound of someone's voice?

Voice a 'multidimensional fitness indicator'

Intelligent flash storage arrays

Also in this week's column:

What can you learn from the sound of someone's voice?

Quite a bit it seems. There is considerable evidence that the sound of a person's voice reveals a great deal about the speaker.

Studies have shown that a listener who hears the voice of someone else can infer the speaker's social class, various personality traits, emotional and mental state, and attributes related to deception.

In research with experimental subjects who listen to voice samples from speakers, subjects are then just as capable of correctly estimating the height, weight, and age of those speakers with the same degree of accuracy as that achieved by examining photographs of those speakers. They both correctly estimate the height, weight, and age of speakers 75 per cent of the time.

This was the conclusion of a study by Dr Robert Krauss and colleagues from the Department of Psychology at Columbia University and published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology in 2002.

Research by Dr Susan Hughes and colleagues at the Department of Psychology at the State University of New York at Albany, found that individuals with a symmetrical (ie, an attractive) body were rated as having more attractive voices compared with individuals with a less symmetrical (ie, an unattractive) body. As deviation from a symmetrical body increases, the attractiveness of the voice decreases.

In an article published in Evoution and Human Behaviour in 2002 and another in 2004, the Hughes team concludes that the sound of a person's voice may serve as "an important multidimensional fitness indicator".

Voice may be an important factor in sexual attraction. Just as people are attracted to healthy bodies, they are attracted to healthy voices. Humans tend to desire fit mates. It is in their individual interest and in their species evolutionary interest to do so.

Stephen Juan, Ph.D. is an anthropologist at the University of Sydney. Email your Odd Body questions to s.juan@edfac.usyd.edu.au

Intelligent flash storage arrays

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
prev story

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.