Psychophysiological investigation of cognitive load and resulting attitudes when listening to non-native accents

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Breheny, Fiona
Issue Date
BA (Hons) in Psychology
Dublin Business School
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The current study investigated differences in psychophysiological measurements when listening to accents (native and non-native), evaluated different attitudes across accent type, and whether psychophysiological responses would predict a measure of attitudes when listening to native and non-native accents. Using a quasi-experimental design, 30 participants rated six speakers (Irish, Brazilian and Polish) on the Social Perceptions Scale. Simultaneously, EEG and GSR measurements were collected to establish if there was a difference in psychophysiological response for the different accents. Results supported the hypothesis that attitudes are influenced by accent, with native accent being rated highest, followed by Polish, then Brazilian. A psychophysiological effect on attitudes was found in the case of Brazilian male speaker only. No significant results for psychophysiological measures and attitudes were found. Previous studies have supported attitudes affected by accent type and psychophysiological reasons for attitudes based on accent. Therefore the current study’s strengths and limitations are discussed.