Do voices carry valid information about a speaker's personality?

Julia Stern, Christoph Schild, Benedict C. Jones, Lisa M. DeBruine, Amanda Hahn, David A. Puts, Ingo Zettler, Tobias L. Kordsmeyer, David Feinberg, Dan Zamfir, Lars Penke, Ruben C. Arslan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
40 Downloads (Pure)


Research on links between peoples' personality traits and their voices has primarily focused on other peoples' personality judgments about a target person based on a target person's vocal characteristics, particularly voice pitch. However, it remains unclear whether individual differences in voices are linked to actual individual differences in personality traits, and thus whether vocal characteristics are indeed valid cues to personality. Here, we investigate how the personality traits of the Five Factor Model of Personality, sociosexuality, and dominance are related to measured fundamental frequency (voice pitch) and formant frequencies (formant position). For this purpose, we conducted a secondary data analysis of a large sample (2217 participants) from eleven different, independent datasets with a Bayesian approach. Results suggest substantial negative relationships between voice pitch and self-reported sociosexuality, dominance and extraversion in men and women. Thus, personality might at least partly be expressed in people's voice pitch. Evidence for an association between formant frequencies and self-reported personality traits is not compelling but remains uncertain. We discuss potential underlying biological mechanisms of our effects and suggest a number of implications for future research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104092
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Research in Personality
Early online date26 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2021


  • big 5 personality traits
  • dominance
  • registered report
  • sociosexual orientation
  • voice pitch


Dive into the research topics of 'Do voices carry valid information about a speaker's personality?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this