Foreign Accent Reduction Builds Trust

Reducing Your Foreign Accent Can Make You More Trustworthy

People are prone to prejudge with stereotypes people, places, and countries that they don’t understand. Unfortunately, this stereotyping is often levied against those with a non-native or foreign accent.  We don’t need to mention some of the flattering and less flattering stereotypes that exist for different foreign accents.  These stereotypes can affect how a person is viewed socially, economically, politically etc. It can affect a managers decision for promotion or leadership.

In Shiri Lev-Ari’s Journal of Experimental Social Psychology article, “Why Don’t We Believe Non-native Speakers? The Influence of Accent on Credibility,” she reports, “Accent might reduce the credibility of non-native job seekers, eyewitnesses, reporters or people taking calls in foreign call centers.” The results of this research has wide reaching repercussions for many second language speakers with foreign accents trying to build their careers in the United States or those working abroad whom have contact with English speakers.

In addition to harming credibility, people prefer to speak with a someone who both understands and speaks their language on a high level.  It can be very frustrating trying to receive service from someone who is difficult to understand.



Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, “Why don’t we believe non-native speakers? The influence of accent on credibility” by Shiri Lev-Ari pg. 2