General NewsWhat the Scientists are Saying

The voice test of strength

By July 15, 2010 January 27th, 2012 No Comments

If you want to size up a man’s muscle power, listen to him speak says the New Scientist. A study has revealed that people can judge a man’s strength just from listening to a short recording of his voice. And it’s not solely connected to the volume  or the pitch of the voice; these qualities are not “reliably predictive of strength” according to Dr Aaron Sell of the University of California.

He asked a group of volunteers, male and female, to listen to recordings of men of different nationalities and cultures, from Romanian college students to Andean farmers. The subjects made brief non aggressive statements, and then the listeners were asked to rate the men’s physical strength. Using a scale of 1-7  they predicted the strength of the men with remarkable accuracy, regardless of the language that  had been used. The predictions were in fact as accurate as when the volunteers were asked to rate the men’s strength by looking at them. Dr Sell speculates that this unusual ability must come from a time in our evolutionary past when making a quick decision about someone’s physical prowess could be a matter of life or death.

Resistance training will help to make you stronger, which has heaps of benefits (it’s part of every personal trainer programme that we do with our clients), so will this change your voice? Not sure about that one, but remember, strong people are usually not overweight and also have greater chances of living longer healthier lives!

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