Professor Jaye Atkinson publishes article on age and race as a double jeopardy situation

Available “first online” in the Journal of Language and Social Psychology, Dr. Atkinson and her former graduate student advisee, Robin Sloan examine the impact of age and race stereotypes on perceptions of competence and patronizing speech. The results of two experiments basically reveal that age stereotypes have a stronger influence on competence and adoption of a patronizing speech style; that is, older adults (whether European American or African American) are downgraded in competence and more likely to receive patronizing speech than young adults. African American participants, however, do report using a different speech style than European American participants (regardless of age); results indicate that they will speak more understandably and with more exaggerated pronunciation. Although age and race do influence several variables measured in this study, they seem to operate independently of one another, rather than creating a double jeopardy situation.

Dr. Atkinson’s research focuses on the intersection of communication and age stereotypes. Her research and that of others in the field has often focused on European American/white participants; this is an important step toward understanding more about the intersectionality of these variables in a communication context.

The full article, Examining the Impact of Age, Race, and Stereotypes on Perceptions of Language Performance and Patronizing Speech can be found here.