What do we look for in a leader? Political vision? Sound policies? Compassion? Well, no. A deep voice appears to be the answer, says Casey Klofstad of Miami University. His research indicates that a mellifluous bass tone is the perfect credential for a true leader. The deeper the voice the better the politician, voters seem to think. And you thought it was Darth Vader’s ruthless cruelty that took him to the top.
The research by Klofstad and his colleagues included two experiments which digitally manipulated voice recordings. They produced higher- and lower-pitched versions of the originals. One asked the participants to select the version they would hypothetically cast their vote for and the other who they perceived were “more trustworthy, more competent, and stronger.”
As with previous research, the study demonstrated that voters prefer candidates with a deeper voice. In 2011, Cara Tigue conducted a study which digitally manipulated ex-US presidents’ voices and showed that candidates were more likely to vote for those with deeper voices. But Klofstad’s research presents us with a new perspective as it included female voices, saying that this is important “because while women have been traditionally underrepresented in leadership roles, they are playing an increasingly important role in the democratic governing process.”