Politicians with a hoarse voice are perceived to be wiser and more competent, according to surprising new research.
Sorbonne Nouvelle University researcher Dr Rosario Signorello explored the reactions to Italian politician Umberto Bossi and ex Brazilian president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, whose vocal chords were damaged respectively by a stroke and throat cancer, AAP reports.
"Before the stroke, people perceived Bossi as positive, enthusiastic, a very charming speaker, and when listening to his post-stroke voice, everything changed,” he said.
"After the stroke, he had a flat pitch contour, a lack of modulation, and this was perceived as a wise and competent charisma."
After French volunteers listened to the "old" and "new" recordings of the pollies, they were asked to name their preference – with Dr Signorello saying most leaned towards the later.
"French people didn't want to vote for someone who was strong and authoritarian, or perceived as a younger version of the leader," he said.
The results of the study were presented in New Orleans at the 174th Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America.