Publication Date

Spring 2013

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)




Clifton M. Oyamot


accent, attitude, implicit, implicit association test, prejudice

Subject Areas



In the present study, implicit attitudes toward accents were examined. The most common method used to study accent-based perceptions is by self-report questionnaires, which measure explicit attitudes. To my knowledge, no previous study has examined implicit accent-based attitudes. In the present investigation, auditory stimuli were used in a novel application of the Implicit Association Test (IAT) to measure implicit accent attitudes. Participants were randomly assigned to listen to a passage read in one of three foreign accents (Mexican, Chinese, or British) and the same passage in a Standard American accent. Participants also completed the Speech Dialect Attitudinal Scale, which measured explicit accent attitudes, and the IAT, which measured implicit attitudes toward the foreign accent relative to the Standard American accent. Implicit and explicit measures were counterbalanced. Results showed that participants had more favorable implicit attitudes for the Standard American accent than the Mexican accent and a mild preference for the Standard American accent compared to the Chinese and British accents. Implicit and explicit accent attitudes were largely uncorrelated. The examination of implicit attitudes in the current investigation complements previous accent research, which focused on explicit attitudes. Examining aspects of both implicit and explicit accent attitudes will lead to a more in-depth understanding of how accents affect individuals' perceptions, feelings, and judgments.