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In the fields of face recognition and voice recognition, a growing literature now suggests that the ability to recognize an individual despite changes from one instance to the next is a considerable challenge. The present paper reports on one experiment in the voice domain designed to determine whether a change in the mere style of speech may result in a measurable difficulty when trying to discriminate between speakers. Participants completed a speaker discrimination task to pairs of speech clips, which represented either free speech or scripted speech segments. The results suggested that speaker discrimination was significantly better when the style of speech did not change compared to when it did change, and was significantly better from scripted than from free speech segments. These results support the emergent body of evidence suggesting that within-identity variability is a challenge, and the forensic implications of such a mild change in speech style are discussed.
Stevenage, S. V., Tomlin, R., Neil, G. J., & Symons, A. E. (2021). May I Speak Freely? The Difficulty in Vocal Identity Processing Across Free and Scripted Speech. Journal of Nonverbal Behavior, 45(1), 149–163. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10919-020-00348-w