Have you ever been hanging with a group of friends and then your mom calls...immediately your demeanor changes and so does your voice!
or if you are at work you use your "work voice" OR talking to the bank, you use your "I am a mature adult voice"
Well, according to a study from The University of Stirling, this whole voice-changing thing is actually a common phenomenon.
It has something to do with how you perceive the status of the person you're talking to.
People apparently change the pitch of their voice depending on how dominant they feel in the interaction.
In the study, the researchers simulated a job interview task, and found that the pitch of the participants' voices changed, particularly in relation to “high-status” individuals (read: a potentially scary and high-powered boss).
They also asked the participants both personal and general questions about their self-perception.
Dr. Viktoria Mileva, a postdoctoral researcher at the university said of the study,
If someone perceives their interviewer to be more dominant than them, they raise their pitch.
This may be a signal of submissiveness, to show the listener that you are not a threat, and to avoid possible confrontations.
The findings showed that both men and women did this — the pitch of voice changed depending upon how “prestigious” and “dominant” they perceived the person they were speaking with, in relation to their own perception of themselves.
Generally speaking, people talked to high-status individuals in a higher pitch.
Participants who considered themselves to be generally dominant spoke in a lower tone when talking to people of a high status.
And people who rated themselves as being high in prestige didn't change their tone of voice at all when talking to other people present who were also of a high prestige.
Milleva also said that “signals and perceptions of human social status have an effect on virtually every human interaction.”
Source: Elite Daily