Why Quayle never got the top job

 作者:况跸攘     |      日期:2019-02-27 05:14:01
By Jeff Hecht Boston BILL CLINTON has it, Liz Taylor has it, but Dan Quayle definitely does not. After analysing the vocal patterns of celebrities in television interviews, sociologists in Ohio claim to have shown scientifically that former Vice-President Quayle does not command respect. Quayle’s voice, they say, reveals his low status. People reveal their social status in part by verbal cues. In laboratory experiments, inspired by a theory proposed by Howard Giles, a social scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, people have been found to alter their accent and speed of response when talking with people they perceive to be of higher status, in an apparent attempt to ape their speech patterns. Stanford Gregory and Stephen Webster of Kent State University have now extended this work. They analysed the shifts in vocal tone at frequencies below 500 hertz made by a range of celebrities interviewed by Larry King, CNN’s leading talk show host. Clinton and George Bush forced King to adjust his bass tones to match theirs. King also shifted his vocal ground towards Elizabeth Taylor’s. But the writer Garrison Keillor and film director Spike Lee both adjusted their low-frequency range to sound more like King. At the bottom of the social heap came Quayle, who adjusted his tones the most to match those of King. Gregory, who reports his results in the latest issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, says: “People are like acoustic chameleons, adapting to their social environment.” A panel of 600 students who watched the interviews were asked to rank the participants’ status,