Date of Award


Document Type




First Reader

Dr. Jennifer Fayard

Second Reader

Dr. Randall Wight

Third Reader

Dr. David Ozmun


Speech rate and accent respectively have been shown to impact perceptions of personality and social competence. This study seeks to determine whether perceived intelligence and effectiveness of persuasion are influenced by both speech rate and accent. Participants were randomly assigned to listen to a speech performed one of four ways: fast rate with neutral accent, fast rate with southern accent, slow rate with neutral accent, and slow rate with southern accent. They rated the speaker on persuasiveness, intelligence, and the Big Five personality traits. The results indicated that speech rate has an effect on perceived extraversion, conscientiousness, persuasiveness, and communication skills, and that accent has an effect on perceptions of agreeableness, intelligence, and communication skills.


This research was conducted with the help of Haylee Garland and Jennifer V. Fayard, Ph.D. Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Jennifer V. Fayard, Department of Psychology, Ouachita Baptist University, Arkadelphia, AR 71998. Contact:



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