The Voice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceConference abstract for conferenceCommunication

The human voice tells a story about our experiences in life, the culture(s) we carry with us, and the body that speaks. We judge (and are judged by) the voice. The voice reveals cues about who we are. Voices fill the air of medical classrooms both by present and non-present agents. However, are we
cognizant about the way voice influence us in daily life and in the medical educational setting? Based on my book (Stemmen. 2019. Aarhus University Press), I will tell a story about the cultural-historical psychological aspects of voice. Speaking and playing sound clips, I will illustrate how we believe we can infer personality traits from a voice e.g. in selection processes, patient communication, and personal situations such as partner choice etc. Drawing mainly from rhetoric, psychology, medical humanities and phonology, I will illustrate how the natural voice is a myth. What we think we have heard and hear in a voice depends very much on cultural context, although we also try to infer very much about the innate nature of the speaker. Based on evidence,
I will speculate how our perception of voice evolved as soft- and hard-wired. Finally, I will consider the relevance of the voice to medical teachers. The voice is an all-pervasive yet illusive phenomenon, so much more than an instrument, and less than a new secret about teaching. Come and train your sensibility. The presentation will cover: A mixture of sound clips, photographs, and a PowerPoint. The aim is to describe how the voice is a product of culture and biology in order to raise awareness about our own and others’ voices.
Original languageEnglish
Publication year2019
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventAMEE 2019: Association for Medical Education in Europe
- Vienna, Austria
Duration: 25 Aug 201928 Aug 2019


ConferenceAMEE 2019: Association for Medical Education in Europe

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