5 thoughts on “Why Your Accent Hurts Your Believability

  1. Interesting research. It has made me think how often we confuse slow processing across languages/ accents with slow mental process, and therefore the credibility of the speaker, leading us to impatiently dismiss what may be important or valid information or points raised. I know I’ve been guilty of that over the years.


    1. Thanks. The research has bearing both on how we treat others who speak with an accent and on our expectations of how others will treat us, when we are the one’s speaking a second language. We certainly have to be careful about our assumptions.


  2. Bang on the money. My brain tells me that this person knows his/her stuff, but the accent still makes me uncomfortably unable to give the same credence that I would to someone who spoke without an accent. I wonder how that works when westerner speaks Mandarin to an oriental? Does the instinctual mistrust of the foreign accent win and cast doubt? Or does the fascination with all things western win and cement acceptance? Great post!


    1. Yes, there certainly is application for what we should expect from our listeners. Interesting thought on whether our background (culture, expertise, etc.) would override the effects of accent.


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