Do you know liars by their voice? Self-confident and honest sounding method

Two types of judgment (certainty, honesty) are based on a single acoustic signature: the loudness at the end of a word, the intensity in the middle of a word, and the speed of speech. Above: confidence, below: honesty. Credit: © Jean-Julien Aucouturier and Louise Goupil, STMS Laboratory (CNRS / Ircam / Sorbonne Université / Ministère de la Culture)

Faster speech speed, more intensity in the middle of the word and a drop in volume at the end of the word: this prosody[1] to adopt if he wants to be reliable and honest for his listeners.

Scientists from the Laboratory of Music and Sound Science and Technology (CNRS / Ircam / Sorbonne Université / Ministère de la Culture)[2] and the Cognitive Systems Laboratory (CNRS / ENS PSL) conducted a series of experiments[3] to understand how we make a decision based on sound, whether a speaker is honest and confident, or, conversely, dishonest and uncertain.

They also showed that the signature was similarly accepted in a number of languages ​​(French, English, Spanish) and recorded “automatically” by the brain: even if participants did not judge the speaker’s accuracy and honesty, this characteristic affected how they memorized words.

Prosody ultimately provides information about the true value or accuracy of a proposal. Scientists are now trying to understand that they are producing such prosody according to the intentions of the speakers. This study was published today (February 8, 2021) Nature Communication.


  1. Prosody refers to a word or “melody” of a word: sound, speed, and intensity.
  2. Jean-Julien Aucouturier now works at the FEMTO-ST laboratory (CNRS / Université de Bourgogne-Franche Comté / ENSMM / UTBM) and Louise Goupil at the University of East London.
  3. The researchers used audible signal processing techniques to create random pronunciations of words (rising sound, falling sound, etc.) and then asked many groups of participants whether these words were accurate or correct. The program, CLEESE, is open source: https: // /projects /detail /confusing /

Reference: “Audience perceptions of the accuracy and integrity of a speaker are associated with a common prosodic signature” Louise Goupil, Emmanuel Ponsot, Daniel Richardson, Gabriel Reyes and Jean-Julien Aucouturier, 8 February 2021, Nature Communication.
DOI: 10.1038 / s41467-020-20649-4

Funding: CNRS; Ircam; Sorbonne University; Ministry of Culture; ENS PSL

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