Listening to our own voices helps us discover how we feel, new research finds.
We take cues from what we hear in our own voice and this feeds back into our emotional state.
So, trying to change how your voice sounds may help you feel happier.
The conclusions come from a study which fed back people’s own voice to them, while changing the tone of it slightly.
Sometimes researchers made people’s voice sound happier, sometimes sad, and sometimes no adjustment was made.
People in the study were not aware that their voices were being manipulated.
The results suggest that people listen to their own voices, at least in part, to learn how they feel.
Dr Petter Johansson, one of the study’s authors, said:
“The relationship between the expression and experience of emotions has been a long-standing topic of disagreement in the field of psychology.
This is the first evidence of direct feedback effects on emotional experience in the auditory domain.”
The study was published in the journal PNAS (Aucouturier et al., 2015).
About the author
Psychologist, Jeremy Dean, PhD is the founder and author of PsyBlog. He holds a doctorate in psychology from University College London and two other advanced degrees in psychology.
He has been writing about scientific research on PsyBlog since 2004. He is also the author of the book “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” (Da Capo, 2003) and several ebooks:
- Accept Yourself: How to feel a profound sense of warmth and self-compassion
- The Anxiety Plan: 42 Strategies For Worry, Phobias, OCD and Panic
- Spark: 17 Steps That Will Boost Your Motivation For Anything
- Activate: How To Find Joy Again By Changing What You Do
Voice image from Shutterstock