Summary of “The Real Reason the Sound of Your Own Voice Makes You Cringe”

Most of us have shuddered on hearing the sound of our own voice.
Not liking the sound of your own voice is so common that there’s a term for it: voice confrontation.
A common explanation often found in popular media is that because we normally hear our own voice while talking, we receive both sound transferred to our ears externally by air conduction and sound transferred internally through our bones.
Basically, the reasoning is that because our recorded voice does not sound how we expect it to, we don’t like it.
Dr Silke Paulmann, a psychologist at the University of Essex, says, “I would speculate that the fact that we sound more high-pitched than what we think we should leads us to cringe as it doesn’t meet our internal expectations; our voice plays a massive role in forming our identity and I guess no one likes to realise that you’re not really who you think you are.”
When their own voice was secretly mixed in with these samples, participants gave significantly higher ratings to their voice when they did not recognise it as their own.
Through their experiments, the late psychologists Phil Holzemann and Clyde Rousey concluded in 1966 that voice confrontation arises not only from a difference in expected frequency, but also a striking revelation that occurs upon the realisation of all that your voice conveys.
He stands by the Holzemann and Rousey studies, saying: “When we hear our isolated voice which is disembodied from the rest of our behaviour, we may go through the automatic process of evaluating our own voice in the way we routinely do with other people’s voices I think we then compare our own impressions of the voice to how other people must evaluate us socially, leading many people to be upset or dissatisfied with the way they sound because the impressions formed do not fit with social traits they wish to project.”

The orginal article.