A new study by the University of British Columbia has found the ability for the human brain to understand someone may be hampered by racial stereotypes, reports the Independent.
Study participants were asked to transcribe audio of a speech played over static noise. Half the speakers were identified as White, the other half Chinese. All the speakers had typical Canadian accents.
Linguists found people had an easier time understanding the audio when they knew the speaker was White Canadian versus Chinese Canadian.
“Our expectations and stereotypes on what people sound like are what we use, need and rely on when it comes to understanding spoken language,” study author Molly Babel.
It may have more to do with expectations based on stereotypes than the clarity of the spoken word.