As per a study published in a journal of social, cognitive and effective neuroscience, we are most likely respond to angry voices quicker than we would to normal voices. This is a spontaneous reaction triggered by the brain to alert about the potential threats and be able to respond quickly.
The study points out that our brain always focused on survival and self-protection, so it continuously looks out for potential threat and responds to it very quickly. The research running in the University Of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland, showed that our brain leverages resources when we sense any danger or threat. And those leveraged resources functions quicker and we sense or hear possible threats quicker. Sight and hearing are the two senses that we use to detect any possible threats, but the sight does not cover 360 coverage of our surroundings, even if it is critical, but the hearing sense cover 360 coverage of our surroundings.
Since an angry or loud voice is considered to be a sign of possible potential threat, the brain reacts to it faster than it would to regular voices, enabling us to recognize the location of the potential threat and respond to it in a fraction of second. To prove this research, the researchers had an experiment with 22 short human voices sounds, which expressed either anger or joy. Then, using two loudspeakers these voice clips were presented to 35 participants, while an electroencephalogram (EEG) measured their brain activity. People responded quicker to the angry voices rather than normal or joyous voices, which was proved by the report generated from the electroencephalogram.
In a supportive research session, a researcher from UNIGE, Leonardo Ceravolo said “Each participant heard two sounds simultaneously: two neutral voices, one neutral and one angry voice, or one neutral and one happy voice. When they perceived anger or joy, they had to respond by pressing a key on a keyboard as accurately and quickly as possible”. Rapid response to the possible threat sound is very necessary and thankfully our brain is already functioned for it, which is proved by a research now. So that explains why we snap at the angry voices quickly, compared to normal or happy voices, but don’t misuse this brain functionality just to gain attention of someone quickly – anger is a bad thing after all.