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Humans subconsciously 'mimic accents'


Posted on Sunday, 8 August, 2010 | Comment icon 31 comments | News tip by: Still Waters


Image credit: sxc.hu

 
Psychologists claim that we subconsciously mimic the accent of someone we are speaking to.

The human brain has a habbit of imitating the speech patterns of other people without even meaning to in an effort to help bond and "empathise" with that person.

"Scientists from the University of California, Riverside, found the subconscious copying of an accent comes from an inbuilt urge of the brain to “empathise and affiliate”."

  View: Full article |  Source: Telegraph

  Discuss: View comments (31)

   


 
Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #22 Posted by Jerry Only on 12 August, 2010, 19:47
I think in a British accent after watching Top Gear.
Comment icon #23 Posted by Avant on 12 August, 2010, 23:24
Yeah I've seen it happen myself. I have voice chatted with an Englishman for the past 10 years. He is from Newcastle upon Tyne (which is mere miles from Scotland) and his accent used to be extremely strong. After a few years in a game called Asheron's Call we moved to WoW. We use ventrillo and when we first started using it I had gotten used to his accent and could understand him, but no one else could understand a word the poor man said. I had to be his interpreter. lol Now after all these years he talks quite american when on Vent (and says he reverts back to full Geordie when talking with h... [More]
Comment icon #24 Posted by bornmystic on 15 August, 2010, 18:18
Thats funny. I did not know it had actually been researched. I had noticed that there is a big difference between the people you see who "hold on" to their own accents and those who tend to mimick other's accents. Usually those who are more empathetic to the people around them will subcontiously start copying the other person's accent. The less empathetic a peson is, the less they copy others accents and tend to stick with their own reguardless of their surroundings. Just a pesonal observation.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Kazahel on 17 August, 2010, 1:16
It is interesting how people mimic others. I think people mimic others much more than they realise and in more ways than just with accents.
Comment icon #26 Posted by Wyrdlight on 18 August, 2010, 22:48
I change my voice/accent all the time depending on who I am speaking too. I went to a rough school and have a fairly clipped "posh" voice, I stuck out like sore thumb, I learnt quickly to change my voice to suit those I was around so as not to stick out. So if i am speaking to somone with an East-end accent I will alter my voice to sound more "East-end", if meeting a new person, say a future employer or a docter/professional I will tone up my voice to sound posher, more of an "Oxoford" type voice. Around friends and family I use my normal voice. Its kind of sad i guess.... but I got so used to... [More]
Comment icon #27 Posted by BaneSilvermoon on 20 August, 2010, 21:45
I've lived in Kentucky for all thirty years of my life and have always been told by people in my area that I talk like a city boy, granted I am from Louisville, but I have far less accent than even the people in my city. On the other hand, it's about 50/50 when I talk to people from other places on whether or not they think I have an accent. And I pretty much never seem to adapt to accents around me. Be that from where I live or elsewhere. I do think I'm starting to gradually pick it up more the older I get though. And on the opposite end. I have a friend from Alberta Canada who I talk to on t... [More]
Comment icon #28 Posted by ~TheBigK~ on 20 August, 2010, 23:37
I think in a British accent after watching Top Gear. Hahaha. I totally do that after watching something with people who have a different accent. It's hard not to.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Desert Man on 20 August, 2010, 23:37
It's possible to adapt another accent or dialect in a different geographic environ, if you lived there long enough ...and it's a sign of cultural immersion into the new culture you're in. I'm a native Southern Californian my whole life, but I been told I sound Midwestern or from the Northeast U.S. and some words I seemingly picked up from Oklahoman and Southeastern relatives. "Ah ain't makin'et yup, y'all git mah drift".
Comment icon #30 Posted by electro13 on 29 December, 2010, 5:17
So to me this means, as countries become more and more multi-cultural, people will start devaloping more of a 'world accent' as time goes by. Which is a good thing to bring people together.
Comment icon #31 Posted by oDaVinci on 6 January, 2011, 2:37
This is true, i have documented some instances of this I tested my friends, teachers, and family members. What i did was, without any warning, i would start to speak in a British accent. They would ALL soon do the same. They would laugh about it.. But it happened (:


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