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Couples Can Recognize or Tune Out Their Spouse's Voice

4 years ago2.1K views

GeoBeats

Geo Beats

According to a recent study, couples at a crowded, noisy party can most easily pick the voice of their partner out of the group, but for some, their partner’s voice is also the easiest for the other person to ignore.

According to a recent study, couples at a crowded, noisy party can most easily pick the voice of their partner out of the group, but for some, their partner’s voice is also the easiest for the other person to ignore.

Researchers from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario studied a group of 23 couples aged 44 to 79 that had been married for 18 years or longer.

They were testing the idea of the cocktail party effect, where people can tune in and out of conversations that are happening around them.

The researchers played recorded voices of the subject’s spouse and two complete strangers at the same time and asked the subjects to pay attention to what the unfamiliar voice was saying, or what their spouse was saying.

Couples of all ages could focus on what their spouse said, and when asked to focus on the stranger’s voice, middle aged subjects were more accurate if the other voice being played belonged to their spouse.

A follow up study used the same experiment, but with couples who had been together for five years or less.

They found that the younger couples had a harder time tuning out the voice of their partner.