Evaluative responses to communicators: The effects of speech rate, sex, and interaction context Academic Article uri icon


  • This study investigated the effects of speech rate level, speaker sex, and interaction context on listeners evaluative responses to speakers. Subjects (N = 214) listened to remarks by a male or female voice at one of five speech rate levels. Also, subjects were induced to believe the passages were excerpts from either an informal conversation or employment interview. After hearing the stimulus voice, the subjects evaluated the speakers on competence and social attractiveness measures. Consistent with previous research, speech rate was positively related to competence judgments for both male and female speakers. However, for social attractiveness, a speech rate level x speaker sex interaction indicated that speech rate had a significant impact on judgments of the male speaker (a preference for moderate to relatively faster rates) but was unrelated to judgments of the female speaker. A context main effect was also observed on the competence measure. Theoretical implications are discussed. 1984 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

published proceedings

  • Western Journal of Communication

author list (cited authors)

  • Street, R. L., Brady, R. M., & Lee, R.

citation count

  • 35

complete list of authors

  • Street, Richard L||Brady, Robert M||Lee, Raymond

publication date

  • April 1984