Fast Company – How Unconscious Bias Is Affecting Our Ability To Listen

Sloppy grammar, sounding like you just woke up, ending statements with a slight uptick in pitch, called “uptalk” or “Valley girl speak,” have all been proven to undermine a person’s success.

But how does the listener break down information when both a man and a woman are saying the exact same thing? According to research, the voice itself is the source of unconscious bias for the listener, and women are interpreted differently as a result.

“GENDERED LISTENING”
Meghan Sumner, an associate professor of linguistics at Stanford University, stumbled into the unconscious bias realm after years of investigating how listeners extract information from voices, and how the pieces of information are stored in our memory. Study after study, she found that we all listen differently based on where we’re from and our feelings toward different accents. It’s not a conscious choice, but the result of social biases that form unconscious stereotyping which then influences that way we listen.

More of the Fast Company article from Vivian Giang