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Preferences for very low and very high voice pitch in humans.

Re DE, O'Connor JJ, Bennett PJ, Feinberg DR - PLoS ONE (2012)

Bottom Line: With these voices, we used the method of constant stimuli to measure preferences for voice.Nineteen university students (ages: 20-25) participated in three experiments.On average, men preferred high-pitched women's voices to low-pitched women's voices across all frequencies tested.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Manipulations of voice pitch have been shown to alter attractiveness ratings, but whether preferences extend to very low or very high voice pitch is unknown. Here, we manipulated voice pitch in averaged men's and women's voices by 2 Hz intervals to create a range of male and female voices speaking monopthong vowel sounds and spanning a range of frequencies from normal to very low and very high pitch. With these voices, we used the method of constant stimuli to measure preferences for voice. Nineteen university students (ages: 20-25) participated in three experiments. On average, men preferred high-pitched women's voices to low-pitched women's voices across all frequencies tested. On average, women preferred men's voices lowered in pitch, but did not prefer very low men's voices. The results of this study may reflect selection pressures for men's and women's voices, and shed light on a perceptual link between voice pitch and vocal attractiveness.

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Women's vocal preferences as a function of lower frequency (Hz) and the difference in between two voices (Hz) in a voice trial.Women preferred lower-pitched voices in trials where the lower-pitched voice was above ∼96 Hz, however, they preferred the higher-pitched voice in trials where the lower-pitched voice fell below ∼96 Hz. Preferences were averaged across all four female participants.
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pone-0032719-g003: Women's vocal preferences as a function of lower frequency (Hz) and the difference in between two voices (Hz) in a voice trial.Women preferred lower-pitched voices in trials where the lower-pitched voice was above ∼96 Hz, however, they preferred the higher-pitched voice in trials where the lower-pitched voice fell below ∼96 Hz. Preferences were averaged across all four female participants.

Mentions: For women rating men's voices, the JND was defined as the Weber fraction at which participants rated the lower-pitched voice as more attractive 75% of the time [54]. Regression analyses revealed a significant association between attractiveness and the Weber fraction for each participant (χ2>30.7, p<0.01 in all cases). However, women's preferences for the lower-pitched men's voices were not a monotonic function of frequency. Instead, women preferred low-pitched voices on trials that contained a lower frequency voice that was greater than 96 Hz, but preferred the higher-pitched voice on trials in which the lower voice frequency was less than 96 Hz (Figure 3). Thus, women did not prefer low-pitched men's voices on trials in which the lower frequency was extremely low.


Preferences for very low and very high voice pitch in humans.

Re DE, O'Connor JJ, Bennett PJ, Feinberg DR - PLoS ONE (2012)

Women's vocal preferences as a function of lower frequency (Hz) and the difference in between two voices (Hz) in a voice trial.Women preferred lower-pitched voices in trials where the lower-pitched voice was above ∼96 Hz, however, they preferred the higher-pitched voice in trials where the lower-pitched voice fell below ∼96 Hz. Preferences were averaged across all four female participants.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3293852&req=5

pone-0032719-g003: Women's vocal preferences as a function of lower frequency (Hz) and the difference in between two voices (Hz) in a voice trial.Women preferred lower-pitched voices in trials where the lower-pitched voice was above ∼96 Hz, however, they preferred the higher-pitched voice in trials where the lower-pitched voice fell below ∼96 Hz. Preferences were averaged across all four female participants.
Mentions: For women rating men's voices, the JND was defined as the Weber fraction at which participants rated the lower-pitched voice as more attractive 75% of the time [54]. Regression analyses revealed a significant association between attractiveness and the Weber fraction for each participant (χ2>30.7, p<0.01 in all cases). However, women's preferences for the lower-pitched men's voices were not a monotonic function of frequency. Instead, women preferred low-pitched voices on trials that contained a lower frequency voice that was greater than 96 Hz, but preferred the higher-pitched voice on trials in which the lower voice frequency was less than 96 Hz (Figure 3). Thus, women did not prefer low-pitched men's voices on trials in which the lower frequency was extremely low.

Bottom Line: With these voices, we used the method of constant stimuli to measure preferences for voice.Nineteen university students (ages: 20-25) participated in three experiments.On average, men preferred high-pitched women's voices to low-pitched women's voices across all frequencies tested.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada.

ABSTRACT
Manipulations of voice pitch have been shown to alter attractiveness ratings, but whether preferences extend to very low or very high voice pitch is unknown. Here, we manipulated voice pitch in averaged men's and women's voices by 2 Hz intervals to create a range of male and female voices speaking monopthong vowel sounds and spanning a range of frequencies from normal to very low and very high pitch. With these voices, we used the method of constant stimuli to measure preferences for voice. Nineteen university students (ages: 20-25) participated in three experiments. On average, men preferred high-pitched women's voices to low-pitched women's voices across all frequencies tested. On average, women preferred men's voices lowered in pitch, but did not prefer very low men's voices. The results of this study may reflect selection pressures for men's and women's voices, and shed light on a perceptual link between voice pitch and vocal attractiveness.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus