Do you like the sound of your own voice?

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Email this to someoneTweet about this on Twitter

Daniel Larison is surprised by the sound of his own voice (he did a Does anyone like the way their own voice sounds when recorded? Please leave comments if you do.


  1. I thought that was a good diavlog, as far as these things go … 
    One school of thought in singing is that the singer should not pay much attention to how their voice sounds, but rather how their body feels when singing – because listening to one’s own voice from the “inside” can be so misleading.

  2. Good god, isn’t Larison still in his twenties? He looks 40 in that video. _That’s_ what he should be worried about. Then there is me. I’m 34 and I look 26. Definitely some disadvantages, but much better for chasing the younger women. Isn’t that right, agnostic? 
    I think we should start some wild speculation on why some people look older than they are and some younger. ;)

  3. Don’t like, like anyone esle,,,no?

  4. Well there’s a lot of literature on babyfaced men, mostly by Zebrowitz, that I’ve been meaning to post on. But here’s the short and skinny of it: 
    1) Babyfaced men are not more attractive in adolescence, but having these facial features makes a big difference for male attractiveness in adulthood. So it makes them late-bloomers, lookswise. 
    2) Babyfaced men have more dominant personalities. It’s not clear if there’s some hormonal cause like higher testosterone that just doesn’t show in their face, or if they develop such a personality as a result of always being thought meek and subservient. 
    3) Babyfaced men are higher achievers at whatever they do — the higher-IQ ones get better grades, while the lower-IQ ones commit more crime within any gang they join. 
    4) Babyfaced men can get away with crimes involving naivete or negligence, since most people expect them to be naive and innocent. 
    So, these males are more disarming — attractive and naive-seeming — but deep down are more dominant go-getters. It’s an example of dishonest signaling — a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Clearly, there is a frequency-dependent check on their growth: if too many signal dishonestly, any one of them runs a greater risk of being found out.

  5. In general, according to scientists, babyfacedness in men is a sign of lower testosterone levels, since testosterone ages men and makes them look more mature.  
    Although the idea that babyfaced men are more successful, may have some validity; I mean, how else is Leonardo DiCaprio successful, and he’s supposed to have a really domineering personality (dating models, starting fights, etc.).  
    Hell, the success of East-Asians in all endeavors, including athletics, may be proof of the success of babyfaced men. Asians usually look more babyfaced compared to other races.

  6. That’s not true about testosterone — thought not false. No one has looked into it. The overall picture is of dishonest signaling, so I wouldn’t be surprised if they had greater testosterone than average. 
    I didn’t say babyfaced men were more successful — but higher achieving at what they do. They are screwed in business and politics, since no one will take them seriously and follow their orders. There was a paper in Science (iirc), showing that the candidates judged more “competent” were far more likely to win. Zebrowitz looked at their data, and found out that it wasn’t competence per se, but how mature vs babyfaced the candidates were. 
    Zebrowitz didn’t quantify it, but she says that no race is more babyfaced than another. Each is more babyfaced in some dimensions of babyfaceness, but not that any one was highest overall.

  7. Re: baby-faced aggressiveness — this is apparently true; according to this article more testosterone than normal tends to make male faces more round… 
    “A rounder face ‘means men are more aggressive’ “ 
    By Roger Highfield, Science Editor 
    Last Updated: 12:01am BST 20/08/2008 
    Men with round faces tend to be more aggressive, a study of sportsmen has shown. 
    The male sex hormone testosterone makes faces more circular and now scientists have studied whether this characteristic is also linked to behaviour. 
    The shape of the face may have been honed by evolution to mark a man likely to be aggressive. A Canadian team studied 90 ice hockey players and found the rounder the face, the more aggressive the players. 

  8. A recent study shows that a rounder face means men are more aggressive: 
    “The male sex hormone testosterone makes faces more circular and now scientists have studied whether this characteristic is also linked to behaviour.” 

  9. WTF? I thought square jaws indicated testosterone?

  10. I’m just guessing, though I’d be willing to bet a small amount of money that Agnostic not only has a face as smooth as a babies bottom but also a marble shaped head. The reason why people associate baby faces with a lack of testosterone is because that’s what they see around them as they go about their life. All of the baby faced people I’ve ever known were pretty much what you’d call a pansy. Round head or not.

  11. A broad or round face is not necessarily a babyface, however. Think of broad faces with small eyes and heavy jaws. Here’s a nice collage of the 105 kg+ weightlifters from the most recent Olympics: 
    These guys are not-so-lean which makes them look softer but still I’d describe most as round non-baby faces. The 105 kg or 94 kg lifters would be even better examples but I couldn’t find photos which are nearly as funny.

  12. Boogliodemus — that’s why we conduct studies, and the data don’t agree with your provincial experience, as I’ve already said. You can read Zebrowitz’s book *Reading Faces* or search PubMed for her name to find her articles.

  13. Most people are suprised to learn that their voice sounds slightly higher-pitched to others than it does to themseleves. This is because your own eardrums catch vocalizations that go through the body (skull) as well as bouncing off walls and back into your ear, and the denser medium has the effect of lowering the pitch slightly. (Imagine hearing someone talk underwater, that lowers their voice considerably – in addition to obscuring the crispness of the sounds, etc.) 
    Those who have recorded their own voice, singing, comediens, etc., are very familiar with this effect. Once you’ve heard your own voice on tape a few times, it ceases to sound “weird”. It can even sound “normal” after a while. 
    I think my in-the-air voice is fine. A little higher than I’m used to, but fine.

  14. A-Bax: 
    But my own voice sounds considerably deeper when I hear it recorded. I actually like it better; it is more masculine, more commanding, than the voice I hear when I talk.

  15. A-Bax: true, my voice is also higher-pitched when recorded and when heard by other people. And I don’t like the sound of it much ;-)

  16. Agnostic, 
    Her Wikipedia entry states: “babyfaced individuals are seen as physically weaker, more submissive and less competent”. 
    Besides, she is a Social Psychologist who’s interest is how people think others see them. Wide faces are not the same as round faces. Think NFL. The reason people see babyfaced individuals as wimps is because they usually are wimps, whether they try to overcompensate for it or not. Just another visual cue. But there must be some reproductive advantage. Maybe they hung around the campsites while the more masculine men went hunting. That would have given them a chance to impregnate the women in camp. A quick search of Nobel Prize winners doesn’t yield too many babyfaced/moonfaced people.

  17. Right, “are seen as” — and she documents in her articles how they are less submissive and more competent. I don’t know about physically weaker, since strength tests aren’t included, but iirc, they do have lower BMI, so are probably more ectomorphic.

  18. Ruy Diaz, were you aware that you were being recorded as it was happening? If so, your voice may have deepened “on its own” (i.e., without you doing it intentionally) as a way to project masculinity, command, etc.  
    This happens all the time when dudes call chicks on the phone, or strike up conversations with them in public. Their voices drop a bit so as to project masculinity. (Ludacris has a joke about this on one of his comedy-sketch tunes). 
    Also I would note, and don’t take this the wrong way, that in Hispanic cultures this effect is even more highly pronounced. Ever listen to those audio-tapes they make you listen to while learning Spanish? Where the speaker says a line in English, then in Spanish? The line in Spanish is invariably noticeably deeper. If you hear “Where is the train station?”, the next line, “Donde esta la estacion de tren”, spoken by the exact same guy, will be much, much deeper. 
    If your voice were recorded without you being aware of it, AND it was deeper, I’d be very suprised.