The Psychology of Accents

The Psychology of Accents

The surprising effects behind our accents.
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CORRECTION: It’s meant to be “rhotic” and “non-rhotic” accent. Very sorry, I was confused.

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0:07 Ramachandran, V. S., & Hubbard, E. M. (2001). Synaesthesia–a window into perception, thought and language. Journal of consciousness studies, 8(12), 3-34.


0:58 Kuhl, P. K., Stevens, E., Hayashi, A., Deguchi, T., Kiritani, S., & Iverson, P. (2006). Infants show a facilitation effect for native language phonetic perception between 6 and 12 months. Developmental science, 9(2), F13-F21.


2:13 Lev-Ari, S., & Keysar, B. (2010). Why don’t we believe non-native speakers? The influence of accent on credibility. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 46(6), 1093-1096.

2:33 Dixon, J. A., Mahoney, B., & Cocks, R. (2002). Accents of guilt? Effects of regional accent, race, and crime type on attributions of guilt. Journal of Language and Social Psychology, 21(2), 162-168.

3:10 Leitman, D. I., Wolf, D. H., Ragland, J. D., Laukka, P., Loughead, J., Valdez, J. N., … & Gur, R. (2010). ” It’s not what you say, but how you say it”: a reciprocal temporo-frontal network for affective prosody. Frontiers in human neuroscience,4, 19.

3:10 Mitchell, R. L., Elliott, R., Barry, M., Cruttenden, A., & Woodruff, P. W. (2003). The neural response to emotional prosody, as revealed by functional magnetic resonance imaging. Neuropsychologia, 41(10), 1410-1421.


October 30, 2014 / 22 Comments / by / in
  • 2:10 you are out-focus

  • I've spent my entire life trying to nail the American accent, and I still can't. … I'm American, by the way. Never left the country. My entire family speaks normally. I just have a speech impediment. It sucks.

  • For some reason, I prefer Yorkshire (my own), edimborough and southern irish accents

  • It strikes me as odd that you say heavier accents are less believable. I think it depends on the accent, maybe. Its true that villains often have accents, any accent in the world… but even among villains, those with British accents are always perceived to be educated. Americans do, I think, tend to ascribe education to British accents, in general. We know that isnt an objective truth, its just a stereotype… Britons can be as idiotic as anyone, Americans as educated as anyone, and vice versa. But it does tend to be a trend Ive noticed.

  • If you had an American accent I'd believe it.

  • A giraffe can last longer without water than a camel can. Believe me.

  • 😌the Australian accent is the most endearing IMHO

  • I think they are wrong Bouba seems to dirive from bubble witch subconsciously we pick the most logical awnser

  • I'm not British and I prefer that accent.

  • You sound like an "aristocratic" Australian, which like myself, but then I actively purged the lazy sounds in Australian English then people couldn't understand me sometimes, it was quite strange.

    And I can tell you for sure that you don't sound like people from Brisbane or Queensland for that matter. πŸ˜›

  • Its really hard to understand your accent but I make a special effort when I see your videos, because I like them

  • But one accent permeates them all…I'm Morgan Freeman, and you are now reading this comment in my voice.

  • One, i'm not THE ldshadowlady. i'm just a fan. But i am also a fan of braincraft and really love your videos. Please make a video based of of this question: Why can we not imagine new colors when we can imagine new people, places, inventions, aliens, food, and the list goes on and on! I just relized that we can't imagine new tastes Also, you might see this exact same comment on other videos. I copypasted that to make sure you see. If you see a comment based on this idea, that's just me on another account. PLEASE RESPOND AND MAKE A VIDEO OUT IF THIS!!!
    Love from your biggest fan(oh, and I'm a eleven year old girl so dont get me wrong)!
    Guess what? I tend to like youtubers with english accents! Stampylonghead, ldshadowlady, and you all have them!
    This is oficially the longest comment ever and that's not surprising considering how chatty i am in person.
    bye and PLEASE look at this.

  • you dont notice your accent? you pronounce your "r's" the same as your "o's"… hasnt that ever struck you as strange? i mean why have the "r" in the alphabet at all? im curious what does it say in a british phonics book for children on the page about "R"? "oh we just skip that page mate." and btw a mate means something you reproduce with…

    i dont have an accent because if i were too program a computer to speak english properly it would sound very similar to how i speak. besides little things like sometimes when i say "for" i say "fer" but my parents dont say that its just a habit i developed as a child its not an "accent" so unlike apparently all brits in the 1800s i care about the distinction between letters and words particularly the consonant sound of "R" to the vowel sound of "O" and try to correct my pronunciations to fit proper english. and british people who are very literate and educated develop less of a british accent and more of a northern american. same thing with southern americans they can be taught how to properly speak and will completely drop their accent within a few months.

    the brits started speaking that way in the 1800's because it sounded fancier and more distinguished. "argh" is faw too vulgawgh to say at the end of a word isnt it? you aussie bastard!

  • 2:12 – Well at least her earring is in focus

  • Psh, you don't know hard R until you learn Spanish or Slavic languages. To me you all speak with non-rhotic accent.

  • Noice

  • Are New Zealand women into Americans? Because you accent me.

  • I just did a quick search. Indeed giraffe can last longer than camel without drinking water. It's a bit counter-intuitive, but it make sense if you understand giraffe's life in the savannah.

  • I do trust you… but then again, I'm Australian. 😁

  • Yes! People do forget about little New Zealand.

    psychological need for an accent

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