It is said that there is no second chance to make a good first impression. And the truth is, we're very good at determining whether we like a person or not in seconds. In reality, we only need a little time to get an idea of the person in front of us and starting from this image, which can be more or less precise, we will establish our relationship with that person.
In those brief moments we examine the clothes she wears and the way the subject speaks and moves. Then we attribute certain personality traits to him and determine to what extent we have things in common.
Therefore, the first few words of a conversation are key to making a good impression. From a simple "hello" the other person is able to determine if we are dominant or if they can rely on us. Or so says a research carried out at the University of Lethbridge in Canada.
According to these psychologists, the tone we use when we say hello contains a lot of information about our personality and determines the opinion that the other person will make of us. In reality, this is not an absurd idea as in the past several studies have already shown that some seemingly insignificant details, such as eye color, face shape or redness, affect the image we have of each other.
However, returning to the study in question, the researchers recorded the voices of 64 students as they read a passage that included a telephone conversation in a neutral tone. The first word was isolated from this recording: “hello”, which was later played to 320 volunteers. They were tasked with classifying greetings according to ten different personality traits, including: level of trust, attraction, dominance and kindness.
The interesting fact was that although the greetings could only be heard for an average of 300-500 milliseconds, most people claimed to have been able to form an opinion. For example, men who raised their tone of voice to say hello and women who alternated it were perceived as trusted. Conversely, men who used a lower pitch were considered to be more dominant people, as were women with a tone of voice that could be classified as medium. The study also revealed that the feeling of confidence depends on the tone and fluidity of the voice, all of which can be adjusted at will.
However, the feeling of authority is more related to morphological characteristics such as the length of the vocal tract, which is more difficult to change. In short, according to this study, we would all be more or less able to detect certain personality characteristics through the voice and we can do it in a matter of seconds. This ability would derive from an adaptive mechanism that in the past could help save the life of our ancestors while now it would help us to adapt to a complex social structure.
So the next time you greet a stranger, remember that his "hello" will be evaluated by your unconscious and may even be decisive in your relationship.