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Study Shows Athletes More Responsive to Voices of Female Psychologists

The world of sport psychology, which may be considered as dominated by male doctors, may now have the need to increase the participation of the female counterpart, based on findings of a very recent study. In a study which was presented during this year’s annual conference of the British Psychological Society, Dr. Rebecca Mitchell of the Leeds Metropolitan University, at West Yorkshire, United Kingdom reported that male and female athletes were more responsive to the voices of female sport psychologists that their opposite number.

Subjects Asked to Listen to Voices

For this study, 117 participants were recruiting consisting of 59 women and 58 men who were between the ages of 18 and 35 years. These subjects were identified as being active in regular sports activities. These participants were asked to listen to four types of voices, namely: a high-pitch male voice, a low-pitch male voice, a high-pitch female voice, and a low-pitch female voice. The study subjects were asked to rate the speakers on the bases of their sports knowledge, personality traits, the likelihood of the subject selecting the services of a particular psychologist, and their overall effectiveness.

Athletes More Responsive to High-Pitched Female Voices

Of the 117 participants, 93 of them answered completely all the questions and which were used as basis for the analysis. Of the four voice groups used in the study, the two female voices ranked remarkably higher.

The low-pitched voices coming from female sports psychologists were perceived by the participants as having the most sports knowledge, to be the most effective sports psychologist, and were most likely their choices when seeking a psychologist services. The other female voice, which was categorized as high-pitched, was considered by many on a very positive manner in terms of personality. No significant differences were reported by participants on the overall voices of both male and female sports psychologists.

Impact of Study

On the part of Dr. Rebecca Mitchell, the study’s lead author, the outcome of this research work challenges the prevailing view that male psychologists are more successful in the field of sport psychology. She added that is an indication that gender equality in this growing field has been making great progress.

While the results of this study remain to be substantiated with other similar scientific works, still, this may be taken as a sign that modifications or changes may be beneficial to the field sports psychology and to the athletes themselves. If talking to a female sports psychologist results to positive results, then there is no harm in encouraging more female sport psychologists to join in this vastly growing field.