If you have a secret crush on a guy in your biology lecture, you may not be keeping it a secret too well. A new study suggests that if your good friend happens to be standing next to you while you talk to your crush, she may know you’re into him based solely on your tone of voice.
The study, conducted by Albright College associate professor of psychology Susan Hughes, Ph.D., found that men and women change their tone of voice when speaking to lovers versus friends.
For the study, researchers recruited 24 people who were in love. The participants were first asked to call their romantic partners, and then to call a close friend of the same sex. For both calls, the participants were specifically instructed to ask “how are you?” and “what are you doing?”
Researchers then played recordings to 80 unbiased raters who judged the samples for sexiness, pleasantness and degree of romantic interest. Raters were exposed to only one end of the conversation and for a brief period of time.
The results showed that raters could easily tell when people were speaking to their partner or friend, and that vocal samples directed toward romantic partners were rated as sounding more pleasant and sexier than those directed toward friends.
So if you’re skeptical of your bestie’s relationship with a guy she’s been spending a lot of time around but strictly claims is “just a friend,” you may want to listen in on one of their phone calls — nosey as it may be, you might just find your answer.
By Sarah Richheimer