Most radio reporters, I think it’s fair to say, think about their voices a lot, and work to sound powerful and authoritative. I know my voice has changed since my very first radio story 10 years ago.
That’s why I was intrigued by a recent study in the journal Psychological Science on the voice of authority. Scientists wanted to hear if people’s voices change in predictable ways when they are put into positions of power. Plus, they wondered if listeners could detect those changes.
Sei Jin Ko, a social psychology researcher at San Diego State University, explains that over a hundred college students came in to their lab to have themselves recorded, starting with a recording of their everyday voices.
Then they were asked to imagine a scenario involving the purchase of a new car. Some people were told they were in a position of high power — they had inside information or lots of other offers to choose from. Meanwhile, others were told they had very little power.
Read the whole story: NPR