Do language errors and knowledge about nativeness affect author’s evaluation?

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This study investigates the effect of language errors in dating profiles made by non-native speakers on perception of the writer in terms of perceived attractiveness and intelligence. It is important to know whether language errors in a dating profile affects perception in terms of intelligence and whether or not knowledge about (non-)nativeness of the speaker also might affect this. A between-subjects design was established, in which participants were randomly assigned to one out of four conditions either with or without error and with knowledge or without knowledge about the nativeness of the author. An effect was observed for language errors on perceived intelligence of the writer of the dating profile in the condition with knowledge about the nativeness of the author. However, there was no significant difference for perceived intelligence in this condition and for the condition with no knowledge about the nativeness of the author, there were also no significant differences found on both dependent variables. The results indicate that the presence of language errors in a dating profile have a negative effect on the perception of intelligence of the writer, when nativeness of this writer is known. Checking a dating profile for language errors before posting it, will help to be perceived as more intelligent.
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