The influence of non-native accents on the hiring process.

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Even though we live in a society in which tolerance is the norm, discrimination still occurs. Besides the often acknowledged forms of discrimination, such as discrimination based on ethnicity, discrimination also occurs due to one’s accent. The present research investigated the consequences of having a non-native accent in the Dutch business world, in the context of job interviews. In this setting, prejudice related to accent can lead to unfair evaluations for job applicants. Consequently, investigating the cause of this prejudice provides an interesting point of research. In the current study, Dutch participants with hiring experience were asked to evaluate a job applicant with either a French accent (non-native) or a British accent (native). In contrast to earlier findings, no evidence of prejudice against a non-native accent was observed, since both accents were rated equally hireable. Furthermore, the influence of an intervening mechanism, prejudice control, was tested to investigate whether raising awareness of possible prejudice diminishes negative judgement. No difference was found in the job hiring recommendation when comparing the listeners who were exposed to the prejudice control intervention to those who were not. This finding is in contrast with earlier studies, providing an interesting suggestion for future research.
Faculteit der Letteren