Accent-induced attitudes in a business context: Evidence from German-accented Dutch.

dc.contributor.advisorHendriks, B.C.
dc.contributor.advisorMeurs, W.F.J. van
dc.contributor.authorGelder, K. van
dc.description.abstractbecoming increasingly salient in business communication. The effect that accented speech has on evaluations of the speaker’s character and message is well-researched within the specific domain of (American) English B2C communication, but accent-induced effects in languages other than English have largely been unexplored. The purpose of the present study was to discover if German-accented speakers of Dutch in a managerial context are subject to similar affective responses as previously researched foreign speakers of English, and to what extent the strength of their foreign accent increases this effect. The German stereotype is especially salient in the Netherlands due to historic events and close geopolitical relations. In an experiment, 179 Dutch participants evaluated fragments recorded by standard-accented Dutch speakers, weakly-accented German speakers and strongly accented German speakers on speaker traits, message quality and their ability to prompt behavioral intent. The results showed that, generally, strongly-accented speakers were evaluated more negatively than standard-accented speakers, whereas a weak foreign accent resulted in evaluations that were similar to or more positive than those of standard-accented speakers. They further showed that perceived comprehensibility played a pivotal role in how accented speech influenced behavioral intent. These findings indicate that business managers operating in a foreign language environment are able to minimize or even negate the negative effects that come with their accent by decreasing it to a weak-to-moderate level. They further show that Dutch listeners’ stereotypes of Germans are activated by German-accented speech, and that listeners allow these stereotypes to influence their affective response to the German speaker in predictable ways.en_US
dc.thesis.facultyFaculteit der Letterenen_US
dc.thesis.specialisationCommunicatie en Beïnvloedingen_US
dc.thesis.studyprogrammeMaster Communicatie- en informatiewetenschappenen_US
dc.titleAccent-induced attitudes in a business context: Evidence from German-accented Dutch.en_US
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