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Accents of guilt? Effects of regional accent, ‘race’ and crime type on attributions of guilt.

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>06/2002
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number2
Volume21
Number of pages7
Pages (from-to)162-168
Publication statusPublished
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This study examined the effect of regional accent on the attribution of guilt. One hundred and nineteen participants listened to a recorded exchange between a British male criminal suspect and a male policeman. Employing the "matched-guise" technique, this exchange was varied to produce a 2 (accent type: Birmingham/standard) 2 (race of suspect: Black/White) 2 (crime type: blue collar/white collar) independent-groups design. The results suggested that the suspect was rated as significantly more guilty when he employed a Birmingham rather than a standard accent and that attributions of guilt were significantly associated with the suspect’s perceived superiority and social attractiveness.