Breaking News
August 21, 2018 - Researchers create the world’s first artificial retina
August 21, 2018 - Yale researchers identify racial disparities in prescribing opioids for chronic pain
August 21, 2018 - BOOST-3 clinical trial aims to improve outcomes for severe TBI patients
August 21, 2018 - New study highlights Alzheimer’s herpes link, experts say
August 21, 2018 - Airline crew don’t have significantly elevated risk of thyroid cancer, new study finds
August 21, 2018 - States leverage federal funds to help insurers lower premiums
August 21, 2018 - New badge course explores research around skeletal muscle as an endocrine organ
August 21, 2018 - TG Therapeutics Announces Completion of Target Enrollment in the ULTIMATE Phase 3 Trials in Multiple Sclerosis
August 21, 2018 - Increased levels of human herpesvirus ID’d in Alzheimer’s
August 21, 2018 - To help patients quash pain, researcher develops practical guide for health care providers
August 20, 2018 - Medicine on the front line to be presented at Medical Innovation 2018
August 20, 2018 - Harbour Biomed and Kelun-Biotech collaborate to develop, commercialize anti-PD-L1 antibody
August 20, 2018 - The man who sold America on vitamin D — and profited in the process
August 20, 2018 - Finding the light in antimicrobials
August 20, 2018 - Unique pain program helps surgical patients wean off opioids safely and effectively
August 20, 2018 - Strawberries could mitigate colonic inflammation
August 20, 2018 - FDA Accepts New Drug Application (NDA) to Review Midazolam Nasal Spray, an Investigational Product for the Acute Treatment of Seizure Clusters
August 20, 2018 - Using Facebook to help young adults quit smoking
August 20, 2018 - ‘Liquid biopsy’ predicts lymphoma therapy success within days | News Center
August 20, 2018 - 5 Questions with Jordan Orange, Chair of Pediatrics
August 20, 2018 - New assay may help improve both sarcoma diagnosis and treatment
August 20, 2018 - New information on the brain regions related to metacognition, tactile sense
August 20, 2018 - New class of insect repellents to fight against mosquito-borne diseases
August 20, 2018 - ACA Coverage Gains Include Workers Without Insurance
August 20, 2018 - 3-D printed biomaterials for bone tissue engineering
August 20, 2018 - Current surveillance system does not quickly pick up most listeriosis cases in the EU, study reveals
August 20, 2018 - Prenatal exposure to acute stress can affect cognitive function in children of low-income households
August 20, 2018 - New study examines scope of state policies targeting drug use by pregnant women
August 20, 2018 - Researchers find long-term structural, functional brain abnormalities in individuals with AUDs
August 20, 2018 - Shortage of insurance fraud cops sparks campaign debate
August 20, 2018 - Researchers find STAT3 as therapeutic target for chronic active EBV infection
August 20, 2018 - Health Tip: Keep Diabetic Feet Healthier
August 20, 2018 - FDA approves brain stimulation device for OCD
August 20, 2018 - NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center expands Blood and Marrow Transplant Program
August 20, 2018 - New drug shows potential to prevent painful side effect of therapy
August 20, 2018 - RDMD raises $3 million in seed funding to accelerate rare disease research, drug development
August 20, 2018 - Illicit drug use is higher during celebratory events, may be worse than previously thought
August 20, 2018 - Exploring the relationship between fever and cancer incidence
August 20, 2018 - Study reveals how socioeconomic status affects racial, ethnic disparities in childhood cancer survival
August 20, 2018 - Brain tumors trap immune cells needed to fight cancer in the bone marrow, finds research
August 20, 2018 - Three factors that contribute to physician burnout
August 20, 2018 - Babies dependent on opioids need touch, not tech
August 20, 2018 - Understanding How Antibodies Shape the Gut Microbiome
August 20, 2018 - Cara Therapeutics Doses First Patient in Second Pivotal Phase 3 Efficacy Trial of Korsuva (CR845/difelikefalin) Injection in Hemodialysis Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease-Associated Pruritus
August 20, 2018 - Kidney transplant chains more effective in saving lives
August 20, 2018 - Study unravels cellular and molecular mechanisms behind dermal condensate formation
August 20, 2018 - New integrated gene logic-chips could have great value in medical care
August 20, 2018 - FDA Advisory Committee Recommends Approval of Paratek’s Omadacycline
August 20, 2018 - Total, open repairs decline for abdominal aortic aneurysms
August 20, 2018 - Novel system can pinpoint ingestible implants inside the body using wireless signals
August 20, 2018 - Infection rates of high risk oral HPV in England found to be lower than expected
August 20, 2018 - Making robots as valuable and trustworthy assistants for medical therapies
August 20, 2018 - Patients with low-risk blood clots can be better treated at home than at hospital
August 20, 2018 - Passive smoking exposure among kids greatly increases COPD risk late in life
August 20, 2018 - Primary Care Provider Burnout Rate Low in Small Practices
August 20, 2018 - Discovery presents treatment hope for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases
August 20, 2018 - Stroke patients appear to receive better care at teaching hospitals with less chance of readmission
August 20, 2018 - Distinct origin of ADHD identified In children with history of traumatic brain injury
August 20, 2018 - AHA: Wildfire Smoke Threatens Health of Those Near and Far
August 20, 2018 - Here’s a mental health workout that’s as simple as ABC
August 20, 2018 - Newly discovered cytoskeleton utilized by cancer cells for survival
August 19, 2018 - Bifidobacteria supplement colonizes gut of breastfed infants
August 19, 2018 - Why patients with Alzheimer’s markers never develop the condition
August 19, 2018 - ACA’s Medicaid expansion associated with increase in prescriptions for opioid use disorder treatment
August 19, 2018 - Important factor may be missing in models used to predict spread of epidemics from climate change
August 19, 2018 - Indian-Americans have fewer sudden infant deaths, study finds
August 19, 2018 - Experts advise against universal genomic screening of newborns
August 19, 2018 - New trial to investigate whether weight loss before conception can make mom and baby healthier
August 19, 2018 - Sun Pharma Announces FDA Approval of Cequa (cyclosporine) Ophthalmic Solution to Treat Dry Eye Disease
August 19, 2018 - Researchers examining Parkinson’s resilience
August 19, 2018 - HPI, INTEGRIS and USPI enter into agreement to offer patients more choice, flexibility of care
August 19, 2018 - Researchers find mechanism that prepares brain to replicate repeated actions
August 19, 2018 - Those who are emotionally stable when young may remain the most stable as they age
August 19, 2018 - URI professor develops simpler and quicker method for detecting impurity in heparin
August 19, 2018 - Mayo Medical Laboratories and NDSC collaborate to develop new patient blood-management solution
August 19, 2018 - Insight into endocrine cancers and treatment options
August 19, 2018 - HPV Legislation Doesn’t Impact Teen Sexual Behaviors
August 19, 2018 - Exenatide treatment alleviated symptoms of depression in patients
August 19, 2018 - Tufts researchers win grant to study integration of genomic sequencing into neonatal care
August 19, 2018 - Novel finger-prick test can help prevent toxoplasmosis
Hearing an opinion spoken aloud humanizes the person behind it

Hearing an opinion spoken aloud humanizes the person behind it

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Hearing an opinion spoken aloud humanizes the person behind it
Credit: Association for Psychological Science

People attribute more humanlike qualities to those expressing opinions they disagree with when the opinions are spoken as opposed to written, according to new research in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science. The findings explore how specific aspects of speech, such as intonation and frequent pauses, may serve as cues that humanize the people who are speaking, making them seem more intellectual and emotionally warm than those whose opinions are written.

“Our findings show that even when the content is the same, the medium through which it is expressed can affect evaluations of the communicator,” says lead researcher Juliana Schroeder of the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley. “It is possible that variance in communicators’ natural cues in their voices, such as tone, can convey their thoughtfulness.”

“Preliminary evidence from one of our studies suggests that the medium by which an opinion is expressed may even influence how persuasive it is,” she adds.

In previous research, Schroeder investigated how the medium of communication affects how recruiters evaluate job candidates. In the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election in the US, she and coauthors Michael Kardas and Nicholas Epley (both of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business) hypothesized that this question might be especially relevant in the context of controversial political and social issues.

In one experiment, the researchers video-recorded six participants as they expressed their actual opinions on one of three polarizing political and social topics: abortion, the US war in Afghanistan, or rap versus country music. For each topic, one person expressed their opinions in favor of the issue and one against.

The researchers then randomly assigned a separate group of online participants to receive one of the messages – some saw the full video, some heard only the audio, and some received a transcript.

Afterwards, these online participants reported whether the communicator seemed to possess sophisticated intellect – they rated, for example, the extent to which he or she seemed “refined and cultured,” “rational and logical,” and “like an adult, not a child” relative to average person. They also reported the communicator’s emotional warmth relative to the average person – they evaluated the degree to which he or she seemed “superficial,” “emotional, responsive, warm,” and “mechanical and cold, like a robot.”

The results showed that the medium of communication mattered particularly when the communicator and the evaluator disagreed on an issue: Participants judged communicators who expressed an opposing opinion via video or audio as more humanlike – that is, more sophisticated and warm – than those who described their opposing opinions in text form.

Participants who watched a video and those who listened to audio gave similar ratings, suggesting that visual cues visual cues are not additionally necessary to endow a speaker with human qualities – an audio clip is sufficient.

Two additional experiments, in which communicators explained why they supported a particular candidate in the 2016 US Presidential election, replicated this pattern of results. Preliminary data from one of the experiments suggested that participants also found messages communicated by voice to be more persuasive than those communicated by text, regardless of whether that text was written by the communicator or was a transcription of a speech.

The three experiments produced less consistent results, however, when the communicator and evaluator were in agreement.

A fourth experiment revealed that specific variations in how people speak – such as differences in intonation and the degree to which they pause – may help to explain why people perceive speakers as possessing more humanlike qualities than writers.

“Whereas existing research demonstrates that cues in speech increase accurate understanding of mental states, our experiments demonstrate that a person’s voice reveals something more fundamental: the presence of a humanlike mind capable of thinking and feeling,” Schroeder and coauthors write in their paper.

This may become increasingly important as modern technology changes the way that people interact and communicate.

“If mutual appreciation and understanding of the mind of another person is the goal of social interaction, then it may be best for the person’s voice to be heard,” the researchers conclude.


Explore further:
Donald or Hillary? Why listening to them makes a difference to voters

More information:
Juliana Schroeder et al, The Humanizing Voice: Speech Reveals, and Text Conceals, a More Thoughtful Mind in the Midst of Disagreement, Psychological Science (2017). DOI: 10.1177/0956797617713798

Journal reference:
Psychological Science

Provided by:
Association for Psychological Science

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles