The effects of non-nativeness and linguistic mistakes on writer evaluations in dating profiles: an experimental approach.

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Extant research has investigated the effects of (non-)nativeness on writer evaluations, the effects of language errors on writer perception, and also how linguistic mistakes would influence dating profile evaluations. What has not yet been profoundly investigated is taking into account perceived writer education levels. Thus, combined with other variables of interest, the research question is: How do knowledge of the non-nativeness of the writer and language errors in dating profile descriptions influence perceived writer education level, perceived writer language level and perceived writer attractiveness of the dating profile owner? A 2x2 between-subjects experiment was conducted where participants saw three different profiles in one of four conditions. The independent variables were knowledge of non-nativeness/no knowledge of non-nativeness, and errors/no errors. The results indicated that perceived writer education level was not influenced by errors nor the knowledge of the non-nativeness of the writer, but participants took their knowledge of the non-nativeness of the writer into account when evaluating texts with errors: dating profiles without an indication of the non-nativeness of the profile owner without errors showed higher levels of perceived writer education level compared with the same dating profile with errors. Moreover, participants evaluated the writer to possess lower language levels when they knew the writer was a non-native speaker of English. Nonetheless, linguistic errors and knowledge of the non-nativeness of dating profile owners did not cause any significant effect on writer attractiveness. This research is relevant due to the psychological insights that have been created with respect to the mitigating effects of non-nativeness on writer perception in the case of committing linguistic errors. The study also extended existing findings by investigating the effects of non-nativeness and the use of errors on perceived writer language level of writers, since no research has been conducted on this topic so far. Lastly, the study provided practical insight into the importance of linguistic correctness in written communication in a different textual genre than business letters and essays where representativeness is affected by language errors, namely dating profiles.
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