The voice, a lie detector?


What if the lie could be detected by the sound of the voice? Researchers have studied how the tone can change depending on the associated emotion.

Did you know that there are approximately 70,000 ways to pronounce the same word? When we speak, the tone changes, the sound volume varies and the rate of speech fluctuates, depending on the people and the emotion that is put into what we are saying. A team of researchers from CNRS and IRCAM (Music and Sound Sciences and Technologies laboratory at the Acoustic-Music Research and Coordination Institute) worked on lies with the objective of answering this question: can we identify a lie by the sound of the voice?

After a series of experiments, scientists have come to the conclusion that one can distinguish an honest tone from a confident tone, or even a hesitant tone, even … lying. The tone is indeed equipped with a kind of “signature” depending on the intention that is in the background, which scientists call “prosody”.. The latter would even be common to several languages, such as French, English or even Spanish.

A tone specific to each intention

For example, if you are credible, you will have a very specific diction: it will be fast, will have a peak of intensity in the middle before going down again when you finish revealing your information.

The tone of the other sends “automatic” information to the brain, explain the researchers: “Even when participants do not have to judge the speaker’s certainty or honesty, this characteristic sound impacts the way they memorize words.

Source : Recognize a liar by the sound of his voice?, CNRS, February 8, 2021.

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