Journal of Nonverbal Behavior

, Volume 18, Issue 3, pp 187–197 | Cite as

Vocal determinants of first impressions of young children

  • Diane S. Berry
  • Jane S. Hansen
  • Julie C. Landry-Pester
  • Jo A. Meier


Audiotapes of the voices of77 preschool children were prepared. Subjects listened to the tapes, and then provided their impressions of the competence, leadership, dominance, warmth, and honesty of the children. Judgments of the voices' babyishness and attractiveness were also obtained. Perceivers reliably discriminated the children's voices along the dimensions of babyishness and attractiveness. Moreover, analyses revealed that the previously documented impact of these characteristics on first impressions of adults extends to impressions of young children. The similarity of the effects of these characteristics on impressions formed about children to those revealed for adults suggests that vocal qualities may have an impact on personality development via a process of self-fulfilling prophecy.


Young Child Social Psychology Preschool Child Personality Development Vocal Quality 
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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Diane S. Berry
    • 1
  • Jane S. Hansen
  • Julie C. Landry-Pester
  • Jo A. Meier
  1. 1.Department of PsychologySouthern Methodist UniversityDallas

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