Voice pitch can affect credibility depending on gender, study finds

Low-pitched voices make male leaders sound more trustworthy, but that is not the case for female leaders, according to a study from Lawrence-based University of Kansas. 

The study, published in the journal Academy of Management on July 6, asked 200 respondents to choose the most trustworthy-sounding CEO from three altered pitch samples: low, original and high. 

Participants tended to pick the low voice for male CEOs, but differing pitches had little effect for female CEOs, according to an Aug. 25 article on the university's website. Researchers attribute this to differing expectations for men and women. Low voices symbolize dominance, which is generally seen as a positive leadership quality in males. However, women are expected to be communal leaders, and dominance is not a trait their followers typically seek, according to the article. 

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