Publication Date

Fall 2010

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Megumi Hosoda


Accented English, Decision making, Discrimination, Hispanic immigrants, Job suitability, Stigma

Subject Areas

Organizational Behavior; Psychology; Social Psychology


Using data collected from 167 college students, the present study examined the effects of an applicant's accent (Standard American English vs. Spanish) on employment-related decisions (i.e., job suitability, likelihood of promotion, and decision to hire) and perceived applicant characteristics (i.e., competence and likability). Results showed that Spanish-accented applicants were rated less suitable for an entry-level software engineering job, were perceived as having a lower chance of being promoted to a managerial position, and were hired less frequently compared to the Standard American English-accented applicant. Additionally, the Spanish-accented applicant was rated less competent but just as likable as the Standard American English-accented applicant. Interestingly, ethnicity of the participants had no effect on the evaluation and perceptions of the Standard American English-accented or Spanish-accented applicants. The results of the study indicate that accent could serve as a basis for stigma, and consequently, foreign-accented applicants might suffer a number of negative consequences. Implications of the results are discussed.