Study: Women's Memory More Receptive To Low Voice

Melissa Block and Lynn Neary learn from researcher Kevin Allan of the University of Aberdeen King's College in Scotland that women remember better when spoken to in a low-pitch voice. This helps women to pick a suitable partner.

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MELISSA BLOCK, host: If you are female, a new study declares that you are more likely to remember something said by this voice...

BARRY WHITE: Take it off. Baby, take it all off.

BLOCK: ...and this one.

UNIDENTIFIED OPERA SINGER: (Singing) (unintelligible).

LYNN NEARY, host: And especially this one...

ROBERT SIEGEL, host: This is NPR.

NEARY: ...than by this one.

UNIDENTIFIED SINGER: (Singing) I don't want my heart to show.

BLOCK: That's because the first three male voices were low-pitched. A team of researchers at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland has determined that females better remember what deep-voiced men say than things said by a man with a higher pitch.

KEVIN ALLAN: And the point to the research was to show that women's memory is sensitive to details associated with men who are desirable.

BLOCK: That's Dr. Kevin Allan. His department conducted the study. He says science already knew that the ladies preferred deep-voiced guys.

NEARY: But the Aberdeen study, for the first time, connected voice pitch with memory. The study was done by showing a group of women various objects while hearing men say the name of the object. The deeper the voice of the man, the more likely the women would recall it.

BLOCK: Now, they did test men, too, but Lynn, apparently male memories are not sensitive to the pitch of a female voice.

NEARY: Well, that's good to know.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TIPTOE THROUGH THE TULIPS")

TINY TIM: (Singing) Tiptoe from the garden, by the garden of a willow tree and tiptoe through the tulips with me.

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