From Birmingham? You’re better off quiet.

Are you from Birmingham? Or, more importantly, have you got a Brummie accent? If so, research suggests that you should stay quiet, as the accent is perceived as not intelligent. A recent study by Smith & Workman (2008), which was presented in this year’s Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society (BPS) confirmed this finding. Participants looked at different photos of women whilst listening to female voices speaking in different accents. They were then asked to rate each photo in terms of intelligence (how intelligent they think the person is). The control group had no speaker, just silence and the photo. The findings confirm this idea, as the Brummie accent was rated as less intelligent by the participants than just silence! 

However, there may be hope ahead for those living in the midlands. This research stands out above others, as it was the first time received pronunciation (RP) was beaten as the most intelligent accent. In fact, this was beaten by the Yorkshire accent, which topped the list. Perhaps things are changing… who knows? The Brummies may beat someone for once!

ResearchBlogging.orgSmith, H-J. & Workman, L. (2008). The effect of accent on perceived intelligence and attractiveness Paper presented to the Annual Conference of the British Psychological Society

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