Wednesday, 16 January 2008

We can hear smiles

Researchers at the University of Portsmouth have demonstrated that we can tell from voice alone whether a speaker is smiling – and even which sort of smile.

"When we listen to people speaking we may be picking up on all sorts of cues, even unconsciously, which help us to interpret the speaker," said lead author of the report, Amy Drahota.

“A voice contains a variety of acoustical characteristics" said Drahota. "It's possible that we interpret these 'flavours' in someone's voice almost without noticing."

Now, this is nothing especially new, telemarketers have been told for years that they should smile when talking to potential customers on the phone, but to detect the type of smile from a flat piece of audio.... can we, really?


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