Competent and warm?:how mismatching appearance and accent influence first impressions

Hansen, Karolina and Rakić, Tamara and Steffens, Melanie C. (2017) Competent and warm?:how mismatching appearance and accent influence first impressions. Experimental Psychology, 64 (1). pp. 27-36. ISSN 1618-3169

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Most research on ethnicity has focused on visual cues. However, accents are strong social cues that can match or contradict visual cues. We examined understudied reactions to people whose one cue suggests one ethnicity, whereas the other cue contradicts it. In an experiment conducted in Germany, job candidates spoke with an accent either congruent or incongruent with their (German or Turkish) appearance. Based on ethnolinguistic identity theory, we predicted that accents would be strong cues for categorization and evaluation. Based on expectancy violations theory we expected that incongruent targets would be evaluated more extremely than congruent targets. Both predictions were confirmed: Accents strongly influenced perceptions and Turkish-looking German-accented targets were perceived as most competent of all targets (and additionally most warm). The findings show that bringing together visual and auditory information yields a more complete picture of the processes underlying impression formation.

Item Type:
Journal Article
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Experimental Psychology
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This article does not exactly replicate the final version published in the journal Experimental Psychology. It is not a copy of the original published article and is not suitable for citation. Copyright © 2017 Hogrefe Verlag. All rights reserved.
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Deposited On:
02 Nov 2016 10:18
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 03:57