Voice and Its Perception (CS 119)
Jody Kreiman, PhD
31-19 Rehab Center
Wednesday, 2-3; Thursday, 11-12; before or after class; or by appointment
Voices convey significant information to listeners, including impressions of the physical
characteristics, emotional state, personality, and identity of the speaker.
This class focuses on
how the human voice conveys information about the speaker, the ways in which listeners utilize
this information, and the manner in which these processes are sometimes manipulated by the
Questions we address will include:
Why do we sound like ourselves, and not like other
How does mimicry work?
Why are some voices more appealing or appalling than
Why are some speakers judged to be more reliable, more intelligent, more persuasive, or
more attractive than others?
How do the media use voice quality to convey an impression, and
how do listeners use voice quality in everyday life to gather information about speakers?
Concepts will be illustrated throughout with analyses of voices drawn from radio, television, and
If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations,
please contact me as soon as possible.
I wish this class was a seminar, but it’s not. It’s a lecture with participation opportunities.
It is essential that you attend every class session, or you will not learn the material.
in on the sheet provided at every class session. My absence policy is as follows.
allowed one free, unexcused absence.
Each additional unexcused absence will result in a ½
grade reduction in your attendance grade.
If you make it to 19 classes or more, you get an A
in this grade component; if you attend 18 classes, you get an A-; 17 = B+; and so on.
I do understand that things come up, so reasonable and documented excuses for absence
will be accepted, and will not count against your grade.
If you are contagious, bereaved, out of
town for a competition, or required by similar circumstances to miss class, please obtain a note
from your doctor, coach, etc.
There is no textbook for this class.
Instead, we will read scientific papers from different
(We will review the structure of scientific papers and how to read them during class, so
You’ll be good at this by the end of the quarter.)
Readings are listed on the day they
Most papers are available electronically through the library’s
(we will review
the use of this page in class).
Those that are not will be posted as .pdf files on the class webpage.
Please be sure you have Adobe Reader (download free from