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The attractive voice: What makes it so?

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Previous research has shown that more attractive voices are associated with more favorable personality impressions. The present study examined which acoustic characteristics make a voice attractive. Segments of recorded voices were rated on various dimensions of voice quality, attractiveness, and personality impressions. Objective measures of voice quality were obtained from spectrogram analysis. Overall, the subjective ratings of voice quality predicted vocal attractiveness better than the objective measures. When vocal attractiveness was regressed onto both subjective and objective measures, the final regression equation included 8 subjective measures, which together accounted for 74% of the variance of the attractiveness scores. It also was found that the measures of voice quality accounted for variance in favorableness of personality impressions above and beyond the contribution of vocal attractiveness. Thus, attractiveness captures an important dimension of the voice but does not cover all aspects of voice quality.

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This research was supported by National Institute of Mental Health Grant MH40498.

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Zuckerman, M., Miyake, K. The attractive voice: What makes it so?. J Nonverbal Behav 17, 119–135 (1993).

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