“Scientists have discovered that humans make judgements on someone’s trustworthiness within the first 500 milliseconds of hearing their voice.”

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This suggests that the tone of voice you use when saying hello directly and immediately informs the first impression of the person to whom you are speaking.The most important traits identified were trustworthiness and dominance. The study found that males who raised their tone and women who alternated the pitch of their voices are seen as more trustworthy….Dominance is partly indicated by lowering the pitch, but more so by changes in ‘formant dispersion’, which are adjustments of your voice caused by the structure of your throat.

The fact that the human mind is capable of coming to these conclusions so quickly and irrespective of visual cues implies that this is an ability that may have evolved in our recent history when decisions on who to trust and approach were crucial to our species’ survival.

Dr Phil McAleer, from the Voice Neurocognition Laboratory, University of Glasgow, who led the study, said: “It is amazing that from such short bursts of speech you can get such a definite impression of a person. And more so that, irrespective of whether it is accurate, your impression is the same as what the other listeners get.

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