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Social Components of Speech Evaluation: Person Perception of Black and White Voices

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Author: Huston-Willis, Shanon Dawn
Advisor: Dickter, Cheryl L.
Committee Members: Forestell, Catherine A.; Currier, Danielle
Issued Date: 2009-06-02
Subjects: Stereotypes
Vocal Cues
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10288/1327
Description: The goal of the present study was to attempt to shift the traditional focus of visual cues to vocal cues as a basis for stereotyping. Research has consistently shown that there are a number of negative attitudes held by the American population towards Blacks. This study examined the effects of speakers' race on listeners' cognitive and affective reactions towards speakers. In Study 1, participants listened to the audio recording of a monologue by Black and White speakers. Results indicated that relative to White speakers, Black speakers were perceived as poorer communicators who had less intellectual competence, less integrity, less motivation, were more threatening, and had more potency. The purpose of Study 2 was to replicate the findings of Study 1 and to test the hypothesis that perspective-taking reduces stereotyping. Thus, after hearing the audio recording, participants wrote a paragraph about the speaker either with instructions to take the speaker's perspective or with no perspective-taking instructions. In addition to the cognitive and affective reactions measures, seating distance was used as a tool to test implicit behaviors that may result from stereotype activation. Overall, the participants perceived the White speaker as higher in intellectual competence and motivation, and as less concerned for others and less threatening than the Black speaker. However, the perspective-taking manipulations did not affect the cognitive or the affective judgments of the speakers. Additionally, seating distance did not appear to be affected by any of the variables.
Degree: Bachelors of Arts in Psychology

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