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Linguistics Vanguard

A Multimodal Journal for the Language Sciences

Editor-in-Chief: Bergs, Alexander / Cohn, Abigail C. / Good, Jeff

CiteScore 2018: 0.95

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.381
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The relationship between implicit and explicit attitudes to British accents in enhancing the persuasiveness of children’s oral health campaigns

Zoe Adams
Published Online: 2019-04-18 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0008


This paper seeks to improve the persuasiveness of oral health campaigns by investigating the relationship between implicit and explicit attitudes to British accents. Forty-seven participants from Tayside, East Scotland, first completed an implicit task which asked participants to judge the truth value of 120 trivia statements, divided into six different accents, as quickly as possible. This was complimented by an identical written task at the end of the experiment in less pressurised conditions. Both audio and written responses to the statements were analysed using signal detection theory, which revealed that Estuary English was more persuasive than the local accent, Dundee English (p = 0.039), and the stigmatised multi-ethnolect, Multicultural London English (p = 0.002). Participants also completed an explicit task involving two matched-guise tests with the same six accents in a neutral and dental context. Results update our knowledge of explicit attitudes to British accents in a modern linguistic landscape, and shed light on correlations between implicit and explicit attitudes. Using Bassili and Brown’s (2005) Potentiated Recruitment Framework, it is argued that the relationship is mediated by participants’ self-presentation concerns and the perceived social penalties of expressing bias. Sociolinguistic implications of implicit measurement procedures are discussed regarding the development of oral health campaigns.

Keywords: implicitness; persuasion; attitudinal consistency; Potentiated Recruitment Framework; children’s oral health


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About the article

Received: 2018-03-06

Accepted: 2018-12-03

Published Online: 2019-04-18

Citation Information: Linguistics Vanguard, Volume 5, Issue s1, 20180008, ISSN (Online) 2199-174X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/lingvan-2018-0008.

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