Expertise in your midst: How congruence between status and speech style affects reactions to unique knowledge

Denise Lewin Loyd, Katherine W. Phillips, Jennifer Whitson, Melissa C. Thomas-Hunt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

We examine how the status and speech style of experts impacts how they are perceived and their level of influence. In our experiment we manipulate whether high-status and low-status experts share their expert knowledge using a more or less powerful style of speech, and find that experts are more liked, more influential, and engender more confidence when they express themselves in a manner congruent with their status (i.e., high status with powerful speech and low status with powerless speech). We further show that liking acts as a mediator between congruence and influence. This study suggests that experts with low-status characteristics who want to be influential should ensure that their expertise, a marker of high status, is known to the listener before engaging in powerful styles of speech

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)379-395
Number of pages17
JournalGroup Processes and Intergroup Relations
Volume13
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1 2010
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Congruence
  • Expertise
  • Influence
  • Power
  • Powerful speech
  • Powerless speech
  • Status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Communication
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science

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