Research already suggests that both height and attractiveness are factors that may weigh in favor of a candidate, but how about the pitch of their voice? According to a new study, candidates with deeper, more commanding voices might just have a leg up on their opponent.
Researchers from Duke University and the University of Miami say voters tend to place their trust in both male and female candidates with the lower-pitched voice. The new research, published earlier this week, suggests that men and women with lower voices are perceived as more competent, stronger, and more trustworthy candidates for political office—traits that are known to influence voters the most.
According to researchers it’s the first study to examine the voices of both male and female candidates. The study is titled “Sounds like a winner: voice pitch influences perception of leadership capacity in both men and women” and is co-authored are Rindy C. Anderson and Susan Peters, research associates in the Department of Biology at Duke University.
“We found that men and women perceive lower pitched female voices to be more competent and stronger,” Casey Klofstad, associate professor at the University of Miami and one of the study’s corresponding authors, said in a release accompanying the findings.
Participants in the study listened to both low and high pitched appeals from subjects posing as candidates – the candidate with the lower voice consistently won out.
Researchers highlight two key takeaways from the study: First, the fact that women tend to have higher-pitched voices than men could be a significant factor in the electability of female candidates. And second, when it comes to analyzing why voters make the electoral choices they do, “biological influences” are a factor.