Feeling of another's knowing: a new behavioural measure?
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When we speak, factors other than what is said can also influence the listener. For example, the gender and accent of the speaker have been shown to affect how persuasively he or she comes across, altering the behavioural response of the listeners (Altemeyer and Jones, 1974; DeShields, Kara and Kaynak, 1996). Studies have found that speakers give off clues to their metacognitive state through the fluency of their speech. These cues can be picked up by listeners, leading to reliable judgements of how knowledgeable the speaker is about the chosen subject. Listeners’ judgements of speaker knowledge are known as Feeling of Another’s Knowing (FOAK), and have traditionally been measured using a rating scale. The present study was designed using a new behavioural measure of FOAK, as there were concerns that the rating scale method was not accurate enough. The effects of fluency and gender on listeners’ judgements of FOAK were investigated using a repeated measures design. Participants were instructed to listen to four anonymous banking company profiles, two of which were narrated by a fluent speaker, two by a disfluent speaker. Afterwards, they decided how to invest £2335 of ‘play’ money in the companies and rated each speaker for their levels of knowledge and confidence. It was predicted that participants would allocate more money to the companies represented by fluent speakers. Therefore, the investment choices made would represent FOAK judgements. The main hypothesis was not supported; however, previous FOAK results were replicated using the traditional rating scales. Subsequent examination of the experimental design revealed flaws in the male fluency conditions and the amount of numerical information included in the profiles. Future research must first resolve the problems with the behavioural measure of FOAK, before it can be properly compared to the traditional measure and investigated in different contexts.