Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 13, Issue 2, pp 67-82

First online:

What sounds beautiful is good: The vocal attractiveness stereotype

  • Miron ZuckermanAffiliated withDepartment of Psychology, University of Rochester
  • , Robert E. DriverAffiliated withPhilip Morris U.S.A.

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Two studies examined the effects of attractiveness of voice and physical appearance on impressions of personality. Subject-senders were videotaped as they read a standard-content text (Study 1) or randomly selected texts (Study 2). Judges rated the senders' vocal attractiveness from the auditory portion of the tape and their physical attractiveness from the visual portion of the tape. Other judges rated the senders' personality on the basis of their voice, face, or face plus voice. Senders with more attractive voices were rated more favorably in both the voice and face plus voice conditions; senders with more attractive faces were rated more favorably in both the face and face plus voice conditions. The effects of both vocal and physical attractiveness were more pronounced in the single channels (voice condition and face condition, respectively) than in the multiple channel (face plus voice condition). Possible antecedents and consequences of the vocal attractiveness stereotype are discussed. p]Her voice was ever soft, gentle, and low, an excellent thing in woman.

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