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  • Dixon
    • Background
      • Standard accents are more widely accepted than non-standard accents and associated with intelligence
      • Standard English = received pronunciation (RP), not associated with any region
      • The Brummie accent is associated with the WC and viewed more negatively than the standard accent
      • Context is relevant, so this was investigated with race/type of crime
    • Aims
      • Test the hypothesis that Brummie accent = higher rating of guilt compared to a control
      • See whether race/crime has an impact
    • Method
      • Lab experiment
      • Independent measures design
      • Compare Brummie to standard English
      • Compare Black to White suspects
      • Compare white-collar (cheque fraud) to blue-collar crime (armed robbery)
      • Comparisons are the IVs
      • DV: ps' attribution of guilt on a 7 point scale (1= innocent) and SEI analysis
    • Sample
      • Psych students from Worcester Uni
      • Had to take part for degree
      • 119 white ps', 24m;95f. Mean age 25
      • Brum ps' excluded
    • Procedure
      • Tape recording: 2 min mock interview. Mid 40s police officer. Early 20s suspect with a standard/ Brummie accent pleading innocent.
      • Suspect lived all over England so did both accents
      • Tapes altered to crime/race
      • Rated on a 7 point scale and SEI (superiority/ attractiveness/dynamism)
      • Standardised exchange eg. "are you involved in ..." and "suspect is ..."
    • Results
      • Accent: Brummie rated significantly higher than standard (4.3/7 vs. 3.7/7)
      • Race: no significant difference
      • Crime: no significant difference
      • Black, Brummie, blue-collar received highest guilty rating
      • Brummie is low in superiority, this and attractiveness predicted guilt
    • Conclusions
      • Decisions on guilt may be affected by accent
      • No cause and effect on accent and guilty judgement
      • Non standard = lower competence rating
      • Further work should be done


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