A computer program called CLEESE helped French researchers determine how to sound more dominant and trustworthy.
Yep, you read that right.
There is now a computer program that can help you sound more trustworthy and dominant. The software is called CLEESE.
Using CLEESE, a group of French researchers figured out which vocal intonations made you sound more dominant or trustworthy.
According to the researchers, you can assert your dominance – even when you just met someone – by altering the pitch of your voice.
From the researchers’ methodology, they concluded that the most effective way to appear dominant is to greet a new acquaintance with a falling pitch. If you want to appear trustworthy, on the other hand, end your greeting with a higher pitch.
How did they come to this conclusion?
The French researchers, namely Emmanuel Ponsota, Juan José Burredd, Pascal Beline, and Jean-Julien Aucouturiera, programed CLEESE to create thousands of pitch variations of the word “bonjour” (hello in Fr.).
The researchers then had 44 people listen to hundreds of utterances of “bonjour” pronounced with different pitch variations, spoken either by a man or woman. Afterwards, the participants were asked to state which versions appeared to be more trustworthy or more dominant.
From the results of the study, the researchers concluded that regardless of the sex of the speaker or listener, people perceived dominance or trustworthiness by the speaker’s pitch. Jean-Julien Aucouteriera of France’s National Center for Scientific Research states that the participants can’t explain their choices but they “all have the same mental representation in their head”.
More about CLEESE
CLEESE, also known as The Ministry of Silly Speech, is a Python toolbox for performing random or deliberate changes in pitch, time stretching, time-varying equalization and time-varying gain on an input sound. CLEESE can also be used for producing individual, user-determined modifications.
The researchers have made CLEESE available online in hopes that others will use it in their research on communication. The current version of the toolbox was developed and tested on Python 2.7.13. To operate, users need NumPy and SciPy. Hopefully, researchers will use CLEESE for other languages and for varying cultures.