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Study: Women's Memory More Receptive To Low Voice

Sep 20, 2011
Originally published on September 20, 2011 3:53 pm
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MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

If you are female, a new study declares that you are more likely to remember something said by this voice...

BARRY WHITE: Take it off. Baby, take it all off.

BLOCK: ...and this one.

UNIDENTIFIED OPERA SINGER: (Singing) (unintelligible).

LYNN NEARY, Host:

And especially this one...

ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:

This is NPR.

NEARY: ...than by this one.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) I don't want my heart to show.

BLOCK: That's because the first three male voices were low-pitched. A team of researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has determined that females better remember what deep-voiced men say than things said by a man with a higher pitch.

KEVIN ALLAN: And the point to the research was to show that women's memory is sensitive to details associated with men who are desirable.

BLOCK: That's Dr. Kevin Allan. His department conducted the study. He says science already knew that the ladies preferred deep-voiced guys.

NEARY: But the Aberdeen study, for the first time, connected voice pitch with memory. The study was done by showing a group of women various objects while hearing men say the name of the object. The deeper the voice of the man, the more likely the women would recall it.

BLOCK: Now, they did test men, too, but Lynn, apparently male memories are not sensitive to the pitch of a female voice.

NEARY: Well, that's good to know.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS")

TINY TIM: (Singing) Tiptoe from the garden, by the garden of a willow tree and tiptoe through the tulips with me. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.