You might be able to tell if someone is a cheater just by listening to their voice

There are quite a few signs to look out for that your partner is cheating on you. You might be suspicious because of recent changes in their behaviour, or they might simply have a history of messing around.

Sometimes, your intuition may be better than you think. If you get the feeling someone is the "type" to be unfaithful, there might be more to it than your own insecurity or trust issues.

According to research, published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology and written about in The Conversation, you may just need to listen to someone's voice to figure out whether they'll cheat on you or not.

Researchers recruited 64 male and 88 female undergraduate students, who were asked to listen to 10 male voices and 10 female voices. Five of each group reported they had cheated on a partner either in the past or in their current relationship.

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All the voices in each group belonged to people of the same size and shape, who were heterosexual, white, and unmarried but in exclusive relationships. In other words, they were as similar as possible.

Participants in the study were given no background information about the people they were listening to. They had to listen to their voices alone, without knowing anything about the person, and rate whether they thought they had ever cheated or not.

By hearing the brief recordings, the participants were able to judge actual cheaters as more likely to have cheated — and women were better at it than the men.

"We were unable to identify exactly which acoustic qualities were driving the perception of cheating ascriptions," the authors of the study wrote. "It is interesting, then, to speculate what aspects of the human voice raters were using to make these accurate assessments because we eliminated differences between groups for the more conspicuous cues of a voice that could be driving factors."

One possible reason the participants could so accurately predict someone's infidelity is that they may have generalised attributes of voices of previous partners who they had known to have cheated. In other words, cheaters may all speak in a similar way, but pinpointing exactly what it is that makes them stand out is uncertain.

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The No. 1 Financial Deal Breaker for Couples in Every State
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The No. 1 Financial Deal Breaker for Couples in Every State

Alabama: Overspending

The top financial deal breaker in Alabama is overspending. Spending too much can be one of the habits that commonly annoy spouses and can hurt a marriage. It can even derail a relationship that's just starting out.

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Alaska: Overspending

Alaska has the highest percentage of respondents of any state who named overspending as their top financial deal breaker — 52 percent.

The state's high cost of living — one of the highest in the U.S. — might make residents wary of partners who spend too much on nonessential items.

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Arizona: Overspending

Arizona is one of the worst states for families to live a richer lifebecause of its relatively low median household income and a relatively high unemployment rate, another GOBankingRates survey found.

Considering that paychecks might be stretched thin, it's not too surprising that respondents in the state would be most turned off by a partner who overspends.

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Arkansas: Overspending

Arkansas is another one of the 27 states where overspending is the biggest financial deal breaker.

Considering that another GOBankingRates survey found that always living paycheck to paycheck is one of the biggest financial fears in America, no wonder people in so many states find spending too much a turnoff.

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California: Overspending

California is one of the states where residents are most likely to live paycheck to paycheck, according to a new GOBankingRates study.

So it makes sense that Californians don't want a partner who spends too much and puts a tight budget at risk.

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Colorado: Overspending

Colorado is another state where the cost of living is higher than the national average. That might explain why overspending is the top financial deal breaker in the state.

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Connecticut: Overspending

Overspending is the top financial deal breaker in Connecticut. However, nearly a quarter of respondents in the state said being too cheap is a turnoff.

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Delaware: Secretive About Finances

Delaware is one of 23 states where being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker among respondents.

The second-most common relationship deal breaker is having poor credit. This could strain relationships if one partner's bad credit is hurting a couple's ability to get a mortgage or other loan.

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District of Columbia: Overspending

Spending money on nonessentials was the top money regret of 2017 in Washington, D.C., a GOBankingRates survey found. So it's not surprising that the top financial deal breaker in the nation's capital is overspending — with 45 percent of respondents choosing this answer. 

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Florida: Secretive About Finances

For Florida residents, a partner who keeps financial secrets is a top financial deal breaker.

It's no surprise residents in this state think being secretive about money can be harmful to a relationship. A TD Bank survey found that happy couples talk about money more often than unhappy couples.

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Georgia: Overspending

It makes sense that overspending is the top financial deal breaker in a state where the median household income is below the national median. Respondents whose budgets are already stretched are likely wary of partners who can't control their spending.

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Hawaii: Overspending/Secretive About Finances

Hawaii is another state where the top financial deal breaker for a couple is overspending, which shouldn't be a surprise in the state with the highest cost of living in the U.S.

Overspending isn't the only thing that's a turnoff in Hawaii, though. An equal percentage of respondents also named being secretive about finances as a top financial deal breaker.

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Idaho: Secretive About Finances

Idaho residents don't like partners to keep secrets about money. The next biggest financial deal breaker in the state is too much debt.

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Illinois: Secretive About Finances

Avoiding conversations about finances and other bad money habits can hurt a relationship. Perhaps that's why being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker for couples in Illinois.

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Indiana: Overspending

Residents in Indiana seem to be wary of partners who can't keep spending under control. Overspending is the No. 1 deal breaker in this state.

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Iowa: Too Much Debt

Having too much debt is the biggest financial deal breaker in Iowa. The average credit card debt in Iowa is lower than the national average, according to financial data website ValuePenguin.

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Kentucky: Overspending/Secretive About Finances

Kentucky residents are equally wary of partners who spend too much and partners who keep money secrets. On the other hand, being too cheap and not making enough money are the least likely financial deal breakers in the state.

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Kentucky: Overspending/Secretive About Finances

Kentucky residents are equally wary of partners who spend too much and partners who keep money secrets. On the other hand, being too cheap and not making enough money are the least likely financial deal breakers in the state.

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Louisiana: Overspending

The median household income in Louisiana is among the lowest in the U.S., according to Census Bureau data. That might explain why those living in the state don't want a partner who can't control the urge to spend.

You can break bad money habits, such as overspending, by figuring out how much cash you have left after covering necessary expenses and recognizing triggers, such as stress, that cause you to open your wallet.

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Maine: Secretive About Finances

Keeping money secrets is the top financial deal breaker in Maine. A survey by TD Bank found that millennials are more likely than other generations to keep financial secrets from a significant other. And men are more likely than women to have a financial secret.

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Maryland: Overspending

Maryland has the highest median household income in the U.S., according to the Census Bureau. But it also has one of the highest costs of living.

If a big percentage of paychecks go toward living expenses, it makes sense that the state's residents don't want a partner who spends too much on nonessential expenses.

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Massachusetts: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker in Massachusetts. The next biggest turnoff is overspending, followed closely by too much debt.

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Michigan: Overspending

Overspending is the biggest turnoff in Michigan. But being secretive about finances is a close second when it comes to financial deal breakers. Poor credit, on the other hand, is the least likely cause of strife in a relationship, the survey found.

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Minnesota: Overspending

Minnesota residents are more likely to consider overspending a bigger financial deal breaker than other bad money habits.

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Mississippi: Secretive About Finances

Hiding spending can be a toxic money habit that can hurt your relationship. That's likely why being secretive about finances is the top deal breaker in Mississippi and nearly half of the other states.

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Missouri: Overspending

More than 40 percent of Missouri respondents named overspending as their top financial deal breaker. Another big turnoff in the state is keeping money secrets, followed by having too much debt.

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Montana: Too Much Debt

Debt is one of the biggest sources of financial stress in Montana, a GOBankingRates survey found. So it's not surprising that respondents here don't want a partner with too much debt.

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Nebraska: Secretive About Finances

Keeping money facts from your partner might wreck a relationship in Nebraska, where being secretive about finances is the top deal breaker. Overspending also is a big financial no-no in the state.

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Nevada: Secretive About Finances

Sneaking off to the casinos to gamble or hiding other bad money habits can hurt relationships in Nevada. That's because being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker in the state. Overspending and having too much debt also are big turnoffs in Nevada.

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New Hampshire: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances is by far the biggest financial deal breaker in New Hampshire, where 52 percent of respondents chose this answer. Too much debt came in a distant second, with about 24 percent of respondents naming this as their top financial deal breaker.

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New Jersey: Secretive About Finances

Having too much debt or overspending aren't the top financial deal breakers in New Jersey. Instead, more residents consider keeping secrets about finances to be a bigger problem.

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New Mexico: Secretive About Finances/Too Much Debt

An equal percentage of New Mexico residents think keeping financial secrets is just as bad as having too much debt in a relationship.

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New York: Overspending

New York is one of the places with the highest cost of living, so it appears that respondents don't like it when a partner spends money on unnecessary items. Overspending is the top financial deal breaker in New York.

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North Carolina: Overspending

Overspending is the top financial deal breaker in North Carolina — but just barely. An almost equal percentage of respondents said being secretive about finances is the biggest financial deal breaker.

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North Dakota: Overspending

Overspending is the biggest financial turnoff in a relationship in North Dakota, by far. Being secretive about finances is a distant second when it comes to financial deal breakers in the state.

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Ohio: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances is the No. 1 financial deal breaker in Ohio. But a nearly equal percentage of respondents consider overspending to be a bad financial habit that can hurt relationships.

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Oklahoma: Overspending

Oklahoma residents have more debt than residents in most states, a GOBankingRates survey found. Overspending can lead to debt, so it makes sense that the state's residents consider spending too much a financial deal breaker.

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Oregon: Secretive About Finances

Money can be a taboo topic, but not talking openly about it in a relationship can create problems. Keeping money secrets can be even worse, which is likely why being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker in Oregon. The two other top turnoffs for respondents in the state are overspending and too much debt.

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Pennsylvania: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker in Pennsylvania. But overspending is a close second. An almost equal percentage of respondents find these two habits unappealing in a partner.

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Rhode Island: Secretive About Finances

Like residents in nearly half of the states, Rhode Island respondents named being secretive about finances as the top financial deal breaker.

To finish rich, couples need to talk openly about money, figure out their values and set financial goals together, according to best-selling author David Bach.

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South Carolina: Overspending

When it comes to relationships, overspending is the biggest financial deal breaker in South Carolina. The second-biggest deal breaker is closely related: too much debt.

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South Dakota: Overspending

South Dakota is another one of the 27 states where respondents said overspending is the top financial deal breaker.

However, it's the only state where "doesn't make enough money" is the No. 2 financial deal breaker. About 31 percent of South Dakota respondents would end a relationship if their partner's income was too low.

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Tennessee: Secretive About Finances

Trying to keep your bad money habits under wraps could backfire in Tennessee. That's because it's one of the 23 states where being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker.

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Texas: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker in Texas — but just barely. An almost equal percentage of respondents named overspending and too much debt as the top financial reasons to end a relationship.

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Utah: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances also is the No. 1 financial deal breaker in Utah. Overspending is a close second in a state where residents are more likely to live paycheck to paycheck.

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Vermont: Overspending/Secretive About Finances

Overspending and being secretive about finances both claim the top spot in Vermont as the biggest financial deal breaker.

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Virginia: Overspending

Virginia is one of the states with the highest percentage of residents with empty savings accounts, a GOBankingRates survey found. If residents are trying to spend less so they can save more, it makes sense that overspending is the top financial deal breaker in the state.

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Washington: Secretive About Finances

Being secretive about finances is the top financial deal breaker in Washington. But an almost equal percentage of respondents named overspending as their biggest financial turnoff.

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West Virginia: Overspending

West Virginia's high poverty rate might explain why overspending is the top financial deal breaker in West Virginia. Having too much debt is the second-biggest financial turnoff in the state.

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Wisconsin: Overspending

Spending too much might wreck a relationship in Wisconsin, where overspending is the top financial deal breaker. However, an almost equal percentage of respondents said being secretive about finances is the biggest deal breaker.

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Wyoming: Overspending

The average debt Wyoming residents have is much less than in most states, a GOBankingRates survey found. They might be concerned that overspending can lead to more debt, which might explain why spending too much is the top financial deal breaker in the state.

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What’s the Biggest Relationship Deal Breaker in Your State?

In the GOBankingRates survey, the biggest relationship deal breakers varied slightly from state to state.

For example, Montana and Iowa are the only states that said "too much debt" is the No. 1 deal breaker. "Too much debt" and "secretive about finances" also tied for the No. 1 spot in New Mexico, with an equal percentage of respondents choosing both answer choices.

There's also a tie in Kentucky, Hawaii and Vermont, where residents chose "secretive about finances" and "overspending" as both the No. 1 deal breakers.

The rest of the states either have "overspending" or "secretive about finances" as the sole No. 1 deal breaker. None of the states chose "too cheap," "poor credit" or "doesn't make enough money" as the top financial deal breaker.

Up Next: Financial Secrets Your Partner Might Be Keeping From You

Methodology: These findings are the result of a Google Consumer Survey that collected answers from 5,215 respondents from Jan. 3, 2018, to Jan. 5, 2018. The survey asked, "Which of the following are the most significant financial deal breakers for you in a relationship?" and allowed respondents to choose "other" or one or more of the following six responses: (1) overspending, (2) secretive about finances, (3) too much debt, (4) too cheap, (5) poor credit or (6) doesn't make enough money. Analyses are based on all responses, excluding "other" answers. 

Photo credit: GO Banking Rates

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Previous research, such as a study from 2011 published in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, found that women consider men with deeper voices more likely to be unfaithful, suggesting pitch could have something to do with it (although the researchers manipulated the pitch of men's voices to try and account for this).

Despite this, another study found that women prefer low-voiced men anyway, especially just before they start ovulating. There could be something inherently biological in this, as deeper voices have been linked to healthier children.

Whatever it is, the study new shows how vocal cues could be used as a cue for infidelity, the researchers concluded. If something about your partner's voice is making you feel uneasy, it might be worth thinking about.

"These findings expand upon the idea that the human voice may be of value as a cheater detection tool," the researchers wrote. "Very thin slices of vocal information are all that is needed to make certain assessments about others."

 

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