Implicit Stereotyping of Regional Accented Speech and Gender in Pronoun Resolution

  • Author(s) / Creator(s)
  • This study investigates the activation of gender stereotypes through the use of reference
    in pronoun resolution. More precisely, the question asked in this thesis is how social stereotypes
    activated through the speaker's voice (based on their gender and accent) affect language
    processing when what is being said conflicts with stereotypical beliefs about the speaker. While
    the effects of these variables have been investigated individually, few studies examine their
    effects together, and how they collectively interact to affect how language is processed. Through
    a self-paced listening task, we measured participants’ listening times to sentences containing
    gender stereotyped role nouns (e.g. cheerleader or farmer ) with pronouns ( he / she ) either
    congruent or incongruent with stereotypical gender of the role noun referent, spoken by either a
    male or female with a French-Canadian accent. We also administered the Emotional Quotient
    questionnaire and a political ideology questionnaire to explore how a listener's empathy levels
    and political ideology interact with stereotyping to affect processing. Listening times were
    significantly slower to incongruent stereotype gender/role noun pairings than congruent,
    especially with male stereotype gender violations, and particularly when spoken by a male.
    However, the male and female conditions saw a reverse effect, showing an asymmetry of male
    and female stereotype processing in the target and spillover segments. Additionally, higher
    empathy ratings correlated with slower listening times with incongruent stereotype gender
    conditions in the target segment. In the wrap-up segment, political ideology had an effect, where
    more progressive participants processed incongruent items faster, while more conservative
    participants reacted more slowly. The above effects appeared differentially, depending on the
    segment of the sentence, suggesting a difference in the time course of the integration of various
    types of stereotype information. These results demonstrate a need to further examine the
    interaction of stereotypes in language processing.

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  • Type of Item
    Research Material
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  • License
    Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International