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People find their own voice more attractive: study

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

People really do like the sound of their own voice!

In a new study, participants unknowingly assessed their own recorded voice as sounding more attractive than other people's voices, a new study has found.

"People generally tend to have an enhanced sense about themselves," said Susan Hughes, associate professor of psychology in Albright College.

"Often people will think they have more attractive or possess better qualities than they actually do. This is sometimes used as a mechanism to build self-esteem or fight against depression," Hughes said.

For the study, 80 men and women assessed the voice attractiveness of an array of different voice recordings of people counting from one to 10.

Unbeknownst to participants, researchers included three different samples of participants' own voice recordings in the group.

Researchers believe that most participants did not recognise or realise their own voices were included, yet rated their own voices as sounding more attractive than how other raters judged their voices.

Participants also rated their own voices more favourably than they had rated the voices of other people.

"Given this age of heightened narcissism, this study provides further evidence that individuals seem to inflate their opinions of themselves by thinking the sound of their own voices is more attractive," said Hughes.

The study suggests that participants may have also preferred their own voice due to a mere exposure effect and the tendency to like the familiar.

This effect may have still been a factor even if participants were not overtly aware they were hearing their own voice, according to the study.

Hughes, an expert in evolutionary psychology and voice perception, was surprised by the results, especially since many people report not liking the sound of their recorded voice.

The findings will be published in the journal Perception.

First Published: Sun, September 15 2013. 10:35 IST