Human voice pitch research has focused on perceptions of attractiveness, strength, and social dominance. Here we examine the influence of pitch on selection of leaders, and whether this influence varies by leadership role. Male and female leaders with lower-pitched (i.e., masculine) voices are generally preferred by both men and women. We asked whether this preference shifts to favor higher-pitch (i.e., feminine) voices within the specific context of leadership positions that are typically held by women (i.e., feminine leadership roles). In hypothetical elections for two such positions, men and women listened to pairs of male and female voices that differed only in pitch, and were asked which of each pair they would vote for. As in previous studies, men and women preferred female candidates with masculine voices. Likewise, men preferred men with masculine voices. Women, however, did not discriminate between male voices. Overall, contrary to research showing that perceptions of voice pitch can be influenced by social context, these results suggest that the influence of voice pitch on perceptions of leadership capacity is largely consistent across different domains of leadership.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)