Project Title

MOOD INFLUENCES LISTENERS’ RATINGS OF FOREIGN ACCENTS

Presenter Hometown

Richmond

Major

Psychology

Department

Psychology

Degree

Graduate

Mentor

Dr. Sara Incera

Mentor Department

Psychology

Abstract

The context in which listeners process words influences their perceptions of foreign accents. In the present investigation, we manipulated listeners’ mood by randomly assigning them to watch a happy or a sad video (the control group did not watch a video). All participants rated a series of words, spoken by native and foreign-accented speakers, while we recorded their mouse movements. Overall, participants took longer time to rate the foreign-accented speakers than the native speakers, which supports the idea that additional effort is necessary to rate the level of accentedness of foreign speakers. Interestingly, participants exposed to the sad video rated the level of accentedness of the foreign speakers as more neutral than participants exposed to the happy video. In line with the cognitive load theory, participants in the sad condition had less cognitive resources available to rate the stimuli. Contextual influences completely independent from the speaker – such as listener’s mood – affect how listeners rate foreign accents.

Presentation format

Poster

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MOOD INFLUENCES LISTENERS’ RATINGS OF FOREIGN ACCENTS

The context in which listeners process words influences their perceptions of foreign accents. In the present investigation, we manipulated listeners’ mood by randomly assigning them to watch a happy or a sad video (the control group did not watch a video). All participants rated a series of words, spoken by native and foreign-accented speakers, while we recorded their mouse movements. Overall, participants took longer time to rate the foreign-accented speakers than the native speakers, which supports the idea that additional effort is necessary to rate the level of accentedness of foreign speakers. Interestingly, participants exposed to the sad video rated the level of accentedness of the foreign speakers as more neutral than participants exposed to the happy video. In line with the cognitive load theory, participants in the sad condition had less cognitive resources available to rate the stimuli. Contextual influences completely independent from the speaker – such as listener’s mood – affect how listeners rate foreign accents.