en, if you want a woman to remember your name, say it with a boomingly deep voice. That's the stereotype-perpetuating finding of a new study from the University of Aberdeen in the U.K., which reveals that women not only recall men with deeper voices more vividly than their squeaky-voiced brethern, but that women are also more likely to choose a Barry White sound-alike as a mate. Here, a brief guide:
How was this research conducted?
In a series of experiments — the results were just published in the journal Memory & Cognition — researchers showed women a succession of images of ordinary objects. Each image was introduced by the voice of a man or a woman at varying pitches. The women were then shown two similar — but not identical — versions of the objects they had been shown before, and were asked to identify which of the two images they had seen earlier.
What did the psychologists discover?
In each experiment, the women had better recall of the objects that were introduced by the deep male voice — they had more trouble remembering objects that had been described by women's voices and higher-pitched male voices. The women were also asked which of the voices they preferred, and, to a significant degree, opted for the rumbling Darth Vader-esque guy.
How would this affect a woman's choice of mate?
The psychologists conducting the study suggest that the timbre of a man's voice communicates a "genetic quality as well as behavioral traits" that women find alluring in a long-term mate, says Claire Bates at Britain's Daily Mail. "We think this is evidence that evolution has shaped women's ability to remember information associated with desirable men," says researcher Dr. Kevin Allan, as quoted by ScienceDaily. One caveat: A similar study conducted earlier this year at Canada's McMaster University found that, while women are more magnetized by deeper male voices, they're also more likely to suspect the owners of those voices of infidelity.
Sources: Daily Mail, Globe and Mail, ScienceDaily
- The 10 worst-reviewed movies of 2013
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Watch The Daily Show mock the NSA and the gamers they're spying on
- How did Love Actually become so controversial? A theory
- The secrets of happy families
- The indignity of canine bath time
- Is the rent really too damn high?
- 5 theories to explain North Korea's big mysterious purge
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- Antarctica recently experienced the coldest day in recorded history
Subscribe to the Week