No need to call on Joey Greco and his crew to find out if the love of your life could be cheating. Instead, new research might be able to help us know who’s more likely to step out on the relationship. Yes, according to a study published in Evolutionary Psychology you might be able to do this by simply listening to the tone of their voice.
“Evidence suggests that many physical, behavioral, and trait qualities can be detected solely from the sound of a person’s voice, irrespective of the semantic information conveyed through speech,” explained the study's authors Susan Hughes and Marissa Harrison in their paper.
The researchers gathered 152 undergraduate students to take part in the analysis, 64 who were men and 88 who were women, all who identified as being heterosexual.
The students involved were all aged between 18-32 and had to carefully listen to recordings of other people’s voices to try and tell if they had cheated in a relationship or not. The people in the recordings were all in monogamous relationships and asked to only count from one to 10 while the volunteers involved had to guess if their voice sounded like someone who had committed infidelity.
Half of the people in the voice samples had admitted to being intimate with someone else when they were in a relationship, whilst the others who were also in a relationship had remained loyal towards their partners.
The researchers conducting this study wanted to make sure the voices sounded similar, so for that reason those on the recording were white, heterosexual and single or in a relationship. To control for whether pitch played a part in “sounding like a cheater” voice recordings were made in a lower pitch and higher pitch, volunteers then had the opportunity to rate it from one to 10, with 10 being more likely.
The results revealed that they had indeed “found that participants indeed rated the voices of those who had a history of cheating as more likely to cheat.” It appeared people really were able to tell who were the cheaters, regardless of the participants' pitch being distorted.
Hughes told The Washington Post that women with low voices are deemed to be seen as “sexier” and more “flirtatious”, which probably explains why the research showed that men rated women with lower voices more likely to cheat.
“While we cannot exactly pinpoint all the features about a voice that our perceptual system is using to make this assessment, we know that pitch plays a role, but does not represent the entire picture,” the authors admitted.
However, they speculated that there are signals that we might be recognizing, such as extroverts – who are more likely to cheat – speak with fewer pauses and vary pitch more frequently.