Article

The voice of confidence: Paralinguistic cues and audience evaluation

Harvard University USA; Hunter College of the City University of New York USA; Jared J Wolf; Massachusetts Institute of Technology USA
Journal of Research in Personality 01/1973; DOI: 10.1016/0092-6566(73)90030-5

ABSTRACT A standard speaker read linguistically confident and doubtful texts in a confident or doubtful voice. A computer-based acoustic analysis of the four tapes showed that paralinguistic confidence was expressed by increased loudness of voice, rapid rate of speech, and infrequent, short pauses. Under some conditions, higher pitch levels and greater pitch and energy fluctuations in the voice were related to paralinguistic confidence. In a 2 × 2 design, observers perceived and used these cues to attribute confidence and related personality traits to the speaker. Both text and voice cues are related to confidence ratings; in addition, the two types of cue are related to differing personality attributes.

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