Reverse linguistic stereotyping: Measuring the effect of listener expectations on speech evaluation

Okim Kang, Donald L. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

180 Scopus citations


The linguistic stereotyping hypothesis holds that even brief samples of speech varieties associated with low-prestige groups can cue negative attributions regarding individual speakers. The converse phenomenon is reverse linguistic stereotyping (RLS). In RLS, attributions of a speaker's group membership trigger distorted evaluations of that person's speech. The present study established a procedure for ascertaining a proclivity to RLS for individual listeners. In addition to RLS, variables reflecting degree of multicultural involvement (e.g., proportion of friends who are nonnative speakers, amount of language study) predicted speech evaluations. Although the RLS measurement procedure outlined here requires more demanding administration than mere paper-and-pencil self-reports, it has the advantage of reflecting authentic RLS processes. Measuring individuals' RLS levels can help screen teachers, job interviewers, immigration officials, and others who are called on to make judgments about the oral proficiency of speakers of nonprestige language varieties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)441-456
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2009


  • Reverse linguistic stereotyping
  • Speech evaluation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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