Sunday, September 21, 2008

Is John McCain clinically depressed?

The voice analysis profile for John McCain looks very much like someone who is clinically depressed, says Geneva, Switzerland, based Branka Zei Pollermann, a psychologist who uses voice analysis software in her work with patients. 
Pollermann uses auditory analysis software to map seven parameters of a person's speech, including pitch modulation, volume and fluency, to create a voice profile. She then compares that profile with the speaker's facial expressions, using as a guide a set of facial expressions mapped out by Paul Ekman, called the Facial Action Coding System, to develop an overall picture of how they express themselves.
Her analysis shows that McCain's voice changes little in pitch as he speaks, and so conveys very little emotion or impact. Whether he is addressing positive prospects or discussing sad facts, his voice always sounds the same.
Additionally, McCain's voice and facial movements often do not match up, says Pollermann, and he often smiles in a manner that commonly conveys sarcasm when addressing controversial statements. "That might lead to what I would call a lack of credibility."
People are unlikely to trust statements made in a flat tone, particularly when they do not match the person's facial expressions. According to Pollermann's analysis, it may not make any difference that McCain does not pepper his speeches with spin, if the way he talks does not strike people as believable.
More here.