Accent, Gender, and Perceived Competence

Larry R. Nelson, Margaret L. Signorella, Karin G. Botti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Those who use non-indigenous accented speech often experience prejudice and discrimination, and in the United States, those speaking with Spanish accents are likely to be impacted. In research on speaker perceptions by type of accent, however, the gender of the speaker or of the perceiver has received less attention. In the present study, the impact of accent (North American- vs. Spanish-accented English), gender of speaker, and gender of rater on perceptions of competence were investigated in a sample of U.S. undergraduates. Participants heard a recording by either a male or female speaker who spoke in English with either a North American or Spanish accent. As hypothesized, Spanish-accented speakers were more likely to be judged negatively, female speakers were more likely to receive negative assessments, and male participants were more likely to show bias related to accent. The neglect of gender in the study of accent bias is discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-185
Number of pages20
JournalHispanic Journal of Behavioral Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Anthropology
  • Linguistics and Language


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