Vox Unpopuli: Speech Content Influences Behavior and Perceptions, not Voice Pitch
Male voice pitch has been shown to influence perceptions of trustworthiness, competence, and leadership. Yet, the design of previous experiments testing the effect of voice pitch on perceptions have several methodological shortcomings. Additionally, no study tested the effect of voice pitch on consequential decisions. In two experiments, we manipulated voice pitch and used both an incentivized and hypothetical trust game to test the effect of voice pitch on trust. In a third experiment, we interacted voice pitch with speech content (i.e., charisma) and tested their effect on a set of behaviors (i.e., incentivized coordination game, donation decisions) and leadership perceptions. In all experiments, voice had no significant effect on any of the outcomes. In contrast, charisma significantly influenced behavior and leadership perceptions. Our findings suggest that, contrary to popular belief, male voice pitch may not be as important as it seems, at least not in the context of our experimental settings.