We love the sound of our own voice

By Casey Frye, CCNN Writer

This is how I feel when I sing in the shower. Am I the only one?

 Ever hear your voice on a recording, only to be surprised by how different it sounds? Most people would say they sound weird, but according to research from Albright College, individuals secretly like it!

For this study, 80 men and women listened to different voice-recordings and rated how pleasant each one sounded. The researchers were fairly certain that no one would recognize their own voice, so they secretly included 3 excerpts into the sound reel. Were the volunteers repulsed by their own vocalizations? Absolutely not! In fact, the participants found their voices more favorable than the foreign ones.

The higher ratings may have been caused by a phenomenon known as an exposure effect – liking something because it’s very familiar. I mean, whose voice do we hear more often than our own? However, there’s also the possibility that participants were unconsciously boosting their own egos!

“People generally tend to have an enhanced sense about themselves,” says Susan Hughes, associate professor of psychology. “Often people will think they have more attractive or possess better qualities than they actually do. This is sometimes used as a mechanism to build self-esteem or fight against depression.” However, she also believes that the ego boost has less to do with fighting sadness and more to do with how individuals of this generation are self-absorbed with the rise of social media vanity. “Given this age of heightened narcissism, this study provides further evidence that individuals seem to inflate their opinions of themselves by thinking the sound of their own voices is more attractive,” says Hughes.

Featured image courtesy of Eric Frommer on Flickr. Image of singing woman courtesy of José Goulão on Wikipedia.