As we grow up, we meet lots of people and we form preconceptions
Where we grew up, who we know, and what we think of the people we encounter every day can play a part in our judgement.
Here, we want to see how you match voices to faces.
If you hear a deep, older-sounding Jamaican accent over the phone, you would tend to assume the voice belongs to a male pensioner of Jamaican descent.
If you discover the voice belongs to a young male adult of Japanese descent, it may seem surprising, because it didn’t match your existing expectations!
We grow up associating accents and voice qualities with particular ethnicities and age groups.
Research shows that we can even make judgements about someone’s personality, based on their accent and our own perceived stereotypes.
Back in the 1980s, research on sociolinguistic attitudes found that Australians perceived Australian accents to be good-natured, but lazy and ineffective in character!
They also measured the perceived attractiveness, competency and sociability of European accents. This ethnic labelling was based purely on the subjects’ perception of speech style. The subjects didn’t see or meet the people from different cultures.