Pitch Convergence as an Effect of Perceived Attractiveness and Likability

Jan Michalsky, Heike Schoormann


While there is a growing body of research on which and how pitch features are perceived as attractive or likable, there are few studies investigating how the impression of a speaker as attractive or likable affects the speech behavior of his/her interlocutor. Recent studies have shown that perceived attractiveness and likability may not only have an effect on a speaker’s pitch features in isolation but also on the prosodic entrainment. It has been shown that how speakers synchronize their pitch features relatively to their interlocutor is affected by such impressions. This study investigates pitch convergence, examining whether speakers become more similar over the course of a conversation depending on perceived attractiveness and/or likability. The expected pitch convergence is thereby investigated on two levels, over the entire conversation (globally) as well as turn-wise (locally). The results from a speed dating experiment with 98 mixed-sex dialogues of heterosexual singles show that speakers become more similar globally and locally over time both in register and range. Furthermore, the degree of pitch convergence is greatly affected by perceived attractiveness and likability with effects differing between attractiveness and likability as well as between the global and the local level.


 DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1520

Cite as: Michalsky, J., Schoormann, H. (2017) Pitch Convergence as an Effect of Perceived Attractiveness and Likability. Proc. Interspeech 2017, 2253-2256, DOI: 10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1520.


@inproceedings{Michalsky2017,
  author={Jan Michalsky and Heike Schoormann},
  title={Pitch Convergence as an Effect of Perceived Attractiveness and Likability},
  year=2017,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2017},
  pages={2253--2256},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1520},
  url={http://dx.doi.org/10.21437/Interspeech.2017-1520}
}