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 journalArticlepeer-review

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 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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