Ppt listened to a 2-minute recorded transcript conversation between a middle-aged male police inspector and a young male suspect.Race was manipulated through contextual cues and physical descriptions of the suspect,and type of crime was manipulated through the description of the crime.
Race was manipulated through contextual cues and physical descriptions of the suspect,and type of crime was manipulated through the description of the crime.
Ppt then measured the suspects level of guilt from 'innocent' to 'guilty' measured on a 7-point scale.Ppt also rated the suspect more generally by completing the Speech Evaluation Instrument (SEI) which measures language attitude on 3 dimensions: Superiority, Attractiveness, and Dynamism.
Results showed that the 'Brummie accent was rated lower on superiority and more guilty.There was also and interaction between Brummie accent/black suspect/blue collar crime and a higher guilt rating in comparison to all other combinations.The ratings of guilt were predicted by higher ratings of superiority and attractiveness
Dixon et al concluded that a range of social psychological factors can influence perception of a suspects guilt , including accent, race and type of crime.
Evaluation issues include:The study had a high level of experimental control which can reduce the effects of extraneous variablesThe ecological validity of the task was low due to the task being unrealistic which may have increased the risk of demand characteristics that could skew data.The sample is biased as it is an all white sample from a particular university if England. This therefore cannot be generalised to other areas or cultures, age groups and races.