Study: Men and women can accurately assess a man’s upper body strength based on his voice alone

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 16, 2010 6:18 PM GMT
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19045-male-voices-reveal-owners-strength.html

    You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake, but his voice may give away even more. Both men and women can accurately assess a man's upper body strength based on his voice alone, suggesting that the male voice may have evolved as an indicator of fighting ability.

    A team led by Aaron Sell at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recorded the voices of more than 200 men from the US, Argentina, Bolivia and Romania, who all repeated a short phrase in their native tongue. Sell's team also put the men through a battery of tests of upper body strength.[...]

    What aspects of voice we link with strength remain unknown, since there was no correlation between a man's strength and the pitch or timbre of his voice. That's surprising, says David Puts at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, since previous research showed deeper voices were rated as coming from stronger men.
  • Daniepwils

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    Jun 16, 2010 7:14 PM GMT
    Tell that to Mike Tyson..
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    Jun 16, 2010 11:06 PM GMT
    So, it wasn't associated with pitch or timber? People just had a sense of who sounded strongest. That's weird.
  • DCEric

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    Jun 17, 2010 1:39 AM GMT
    Daniepwils saidTell that to Mike Tyson..


    Damn. You beat me to it.
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    Jun 17, 2010 1:52 AM GMT
    Daniepwils saidTell that to Mike Tyson..



    My thoughts exactly. Obviously this kind of thing isn't universal. Not to mention there has to be some subjective association going on with an individual listening to those recordings. Still.. that's along the lines of saying if you hear a lisp in a mans voice he's gay. No.. it's not really true. But 8 times out of 10 you'd prolly be right.
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    Jun 17, 2010 1:53 AM GMT
    What kind of BS is this? Epic fail.
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    Jun 17, 2010 2:03 AM GMT

    This is an initial theory and it looks like the study may have at least two major flaws. First, the study measured muscle size, not strength. Second, size of muscles may very well be correlated with depth of voice only because muscle size may be positively correlated with say chest or throat size, which are correlated with pitch of voice.
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Jun 17, 2010 2:11 AM GMT
    Oh it absolutely is right. Look at the military. All of the men in command have always had deep manly voices. Barak Obama keeps his voice in the low octaves to sound commanding.
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Jun 17, 2010 2:12 AM GMT
    Daniepwils saidTell that to Mike Tyson..
    got to agree with this one lol.
  • safety43_mma1...

    Posts: 4251

    Jun 17, 2010 2:14 AM GMT
    ok first of all there is noway in hell by someones voice u can tell weather or not the have upper body strengh and anyone who believes this needs help. not being rude but it is the truth there r plenty of guys out there that have higher voices and r strong as a ox. and plenty of guys out there that have a low and deep voice that r total wimps.
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    Jun 17, 2010 2:27 AM GMT
    I guess i must be mighty strong!

    My voice is very deep..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 17, 2010 3:10 AM GMT
    I sound like a smurf on helium and I could kick all your asses!!! icon_mad.gif
  • NashRugger

    Posts: 1089

    Jun 17, 2010 3:14 AM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite saidI sound like a smurf on helium and I could kick all your asses!!! icon_mad.gif

    aww, how cute. icon_wink.gif
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    Jun 17, 2010 3:16 AM GMT
    futuresooner said
    GuerrillaSodomite saidI sound like a smurf on helium and I could kick all your asses!!! icon_mad.gif

    aww, how cute. icon_wink.gif


    *snarls and viciously gnaws ankle*
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    Jun 17, 2010 3:26 AM GMT
    riddler78 saidhttp://www.newscientist.com/article/dn19045-male-voices-reveal-owners-strength.html

    You can tell a lot about a man by his handshake, but his voice may give away even more. Both men and women can accurately assess a man's upper body strength based on his voice alone, suggesting that the male voice may have evolved as an indicator of fighting ability.

    A team led by Aaron Sell at the University of California, Santa Barbara, recorded the voices of more than 200 men from the US, Argentina, Bolivia and Romania, who all repeated a short phrase in their native tongue. Sell's team also put the men through a battery of tests of upper body strength.[...]

    What aspects of voice we link with strength remain unknown, since there was no correlation between a man's strength and the pitch or timbre of his voice. That's surprising, says David Puts at Pennsylvania State University in University Park, since previous research showed deeper voices were rated as coming from stronger men.


    Full text here:

    http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/early/2010/06/14/rspb.2010.0769.full
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    Jun 20, 2010 12:08 AM GMT
    My voice sounds like gravel being rubbed together.

    It makes it difficult for people to understand me over the phone.
  • nv7_

    Posts: 1453

    Jun 20, 2010 12:17 AM GMT

    icon_biggrin.gif
  • LifeByTheHorn

    Posts: 255

    Jun 20, 2010 12:47 AM GMT
    nv7_ said
    icon_biggrin.gif


    This was really a piece of work! Pamela was clawing the chair that she was in almost!!!
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    Jun 20, 2010 12:50 AM GMT
    Daniepwils saidTell that to Mike Tyson..


    Sometimes I wonder who thinks of doing these studies when there are more productive things people can do with their lives.
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    Jun 20, 2010 1:21 AM GMT
    How come no one read the article? People weren't guessing based on how high or low the voice was. The article says specifically there wasn't a correlation between high or low voices and the speaker's strength.

    What's interesting about the article is that it was intuitive, not based on assumptions. I think it's fascinating that we pick up on things without realizing it.
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    Jun 25, 2010 8:48 AM GMT
    GuerrillaSodomite said
    futuresooner said
    GuerrillaSodomite saidI sound like a smurf on helium and I could kick all your asses!!! icon_mad.gif

    aww, how cute. icon_wink.gif


    *snarls and viciously gnaws ankle*


    Awww even cuter icon_smile.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Jun 25, 2010 9:07 AM GMT
    Anyways, I could see it happen, my brothers and me on the whole have deep voices, and we get told by people that we are all very strong for our small frames
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jun 25, 2010 9:23 AM GMT
    I have read the article. While the idea isn't inherently implausible -- testosterone and other androgens have a marked effect on vocal cords, and explain a large amount of why adult men have much deeper voices than adult women, even when the individuals are roughly the same size -- some of their measurements are questionable.

    For example, in their measurement of undergrad male psych students at UCSB who participated in the study for course credit (sample 1), they rated "strength" in 3 ways -- one a hand grip strength as measured by a dynamometer, one a measurement of bicep circumference (which correlates with strength, but isn't directly a measurement of it), and the third a rating of how strong other undergrads thought the guy was based on a shirtless picture of him. The last of these they admit only explains about 50% of the variance in weight lifting strength, so the correlation's not that strong. Different samples had different ratings of strength; only sample 8 of the students seems directly comparable to the studies of the Tsimane and the Andeans.

    Also, I have to say that while they have statistically significant effects, that doesn't mean that their effects are large. The correlation coefficients are on the low side; r of 0.45 means an r^2 of around 0.20, so the measurement of strength only explains about a fifth of the variance in strength from one person to another. That leaves the lion's share unaccounted for. The pattern may be real, but it only explains a small portion of what's going on.

    Then again, this is the case of a lot of evolutionary psychology. Cosmides and Tooby are largely the founders of the field, and some of their work is solid, but as an experimental evolutionary biologist, I find a whole lot of evolutionary psychology to be rather over-reaching and often overstated.