Determining the Effects of Voice Pitch on Adolescent Perception, Subconscious Bias, and Marketing Success Using Electroencephalography

(1) High Technology High School, Lincroft, New Jersey

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A company’s success largely depends on marketing; however, implicit biases may impact the perception and potency of advertisements. Voice pitch affects perceived authoritativeness, competency, and leadership capacity. Pitch also correlates with greater popularity in online influencers. This study employed neuromarketing techniques to quantify effects of bias caused by differences in voice pitch using affordable electroencephalogram (EEG). To determine the influence of voice pitch on marketing success, we collected subjective perception ratings (confidence, trustworthiness, and willingness to try) while subjects (n = 26) listened to sets of recordings of male-voiced and female-voiced advertisements with varying pitches. Subjects gave significantly higher ratings for male-voiced advertisements of low pitch and female-voiced advertisements of mid and low pitch. Additionally, we used EEG to measure levels of three brain wave frequency bands: theta, alpha, and beta bands. We found significant correlations between higher ratings and high levels of theta and alpha absolute power. We also found correlations between higher ratings and lower magnitude of frontal asymmetry, which measures difference in activity between the left and right prefrontal cortex. These findings suggest that examining certain measures of brain activity collected using an affordable EEG could predict advertising effectiveness, which may be invaluable in future neuromarketing research. Understanding voice pitch and other factors that cause implicit bias may allow significant advances in marketing, facilitating business success.

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eeg marketing business bias voice pitch