How We Express Dominance Through our Tone


People Unconsciously Adapt To Each Other's Voice Tones

It is widely known that when two people are conversing it is likely that they will copy each other´s body posture. This is the mirror effect. We mirror the other person in order to build rapport. We do this uncounsiously and it may denote that we like them (this not only applies to romantic love). This habit to mirror our interlocutor, also influences our tone of voice.

According to Kent State University researchers Stanford W. Gregory, Jr. and Stephen Webster, people unconsciously adapt to each other's voice tones (a phenomenon studied by students of "communication accommodation theory").

The manner in which we talk, rhythm, breathiness, hoarseness, or loudness may be affected by our speaking partner.

Out tone of voice reflects psychological arousal, emotion, and mood. It may also carry social information, as in a sarcastic, superior, or submissive manner of speaking.

In order to express dominance, we lower our tone: "The more threatened or aggressive an animal becomes, the lower and harsher its voice turns--thus, the bigger it seems" (Hopson 1980:83).


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