There’s news on the human nature front – a new scientific breakthrough that has to do with how we understand human prejudice.
Scientists have shown that the brain responds differently to accents they are not used to. It seems that we feel more at ease with people who sound just like us, because processing those sounds is easier for us - a phenomenon called “cognitive fluency.”
Not surprisingly, we listeners tend to assign negative judgments to an accented speaker, even when the speaker is quite knowledgeable.
On the positive side, studies show there may be benefits to wrestling with language that is difficult to process. According to the research, making your brain work harder can make you smarter and help you remember information better.
So, give unfamiliar accents another chance! It’s good for you!
For more details on this study, go here.