WHITE HOUSE — “When they go low, we go high,” former first lady Michelle Obama recited as her motto. When it comes to electability, however, that could be bad advice — but not in the way that might be imagined. Research into the voices of political candidates concludes how a contender speaks is critical — and lower pitch is better.
“İndividuals with lower voices are more likely to win and to win a larger vote share,” says University of Miami Associate Professor Casey Klofstad. “What our experimental data show is that we like candidates with lower voices, largely because they are perceived as stronger and more confident and, to a lesser degree, because they're perceived as older.”
This tonal bias may partly explain the under-representation of women in elected office. And with a record number of women vying for the Democratic Party’s nomination for U.S. president, the research is receiving wider scrutiny.
Stanford Gregory, emeritus professor of sociology at Kent State University, studied the voice characteristics of the U.S. presidential general election contenders between 1960 and 2000, as well as analyzing the three deba.
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