The Influence of Speech Rate Stereotypes and Rate Similarity or Listeners' Evaluations of Speakers Academic Article uri icon


  • In this study, the effects of speaker speech rate level, the degree of similarity between listener and speaker rates, and context on listeners' evaluative judgments of speakers were examined. After their own speech rates were assessed, subjects listened to passages of a male speaker, using a fast, moderate or slow speech rate. Also, subjects were told the passages were excerpts from either an informal conversation or an employment interview. After listening to the speech sample, subjects evaluated the speaker on competence and social attractiveness measures. Results indicated that listeners found a speaker with moderate to relative faster rates (actual and perceived) more competent and socially attractive than a speaker with slower rates. Listeners also preferred speakers with rates similar to or marginally faster than their own. The results regarding context were equivocal. Neither main nor interaction effects involving context emerged on either the competence or social attractiveness measures. However, on separate rate acceptability and speech rate perception measures, listeners found slower rates more acceptable and were more aware of the slow and fast rate extremes in the employment interview than in the conversation setting.

published proceedings

  • Journal of Language and Social Psychology

altmetric score

  • 4

author list (cited authors)

  • Street, R. L., Brady, R. M., & Putman, W. B.

citation count

  • 71

complete list of authors

  • Street, Richard L||Brady, Robert M||Putman, William B

publication date

  • March 1983