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When actions speak louder than words: preventing discrimination of nonstandard speakers

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date01/2014
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Journal number1
Volume33
Number of pages10
Pages68-77
Early online date5/08/13
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Prejudice against a social group may lead to discrimination of members of this group. One very strong cue of group membership is a (non)standard accent in speech. Surprisingly, hardly any interventions against accent-based discrimination have been tested. In the current article, we introduce an intervention in which what participants experience themselves unobtrusively changes their evaluations of others. In the present experiment, participants in the experimental condition talked to a confederate in a foreign language before the experiment, whereas those in the control condition received no treatment. Replicating previous research, participants in the control condition discriminated against Turkish-accented job candidates. In contrast, those in the experimental condition evaluated Turkish- and standard-accented candidates as similarly competent. We discuss potential mediating and moderating factors of this effect.