Female psychologists preferred in sport

Sportsmen and women may respond better to female psychologists than they do to male practitioners, new research has suggested.

Leeds Metropolitan University's Rebecca Mitchell carried out a study that is set to be presented at the British Psychological Society's annual conference today (9 May 2014).

In it, she asked participants to listen to four different voices: a high-pitched male voice; a low-pitched male voice; a high-pitched female voice; and a low-pitched female voice. They were then told to rate each speaker on their sports knowledge, personality, effectiveness and how likely they would be to seek their services.

It was found that the 93 participants consistently rated the female voices higher than the male samples. The low-pitched female was highlighted as particularly effective and knowledgeable.

"These findings challenge the historically prevalent view that male psychologists are more successful and show that gender equality has made progress in sport," commented Ms Mitchell.

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