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One out of three people will make judgements about your personality, intelligence and competence based purely on your accent. This means that the secret of success at work, and in relationships can depend on the way you talk.

It is no surprise then that a third of the 4,000 adults surveyed by Hear the World ( - a global campaign to help educate people about the importance of hearing and the prevention of hearing loss – admitted that they adapt their accent depending on who they are talking with.


A staggering 15% admitted that they would take someone less seriously at work if they had an accent and 11% agreed that an individual’s accent would influence whether or not they did business with them. One in three people considered Scouse the most untrustworthy accent, followed by Cockney, which received 22% of the votes. The Brummie accent was regarded as the most annoying with a quarter of all the votes whilst Scottish was perceived as the most aggressive.

But not all accents are an occupational hazard. On the career ladder it seems those who speak the Queens English have the upper hand. 73% of those surveyed think people with this accent sound the most intelligent, whilst 70% think it carries the most authority and half believe it sounds the most confident of all accents.


Accents can also influence our success in finding love. Half of the women surveyed (and 45% of the men) said that they would find someone more attractive if they had an accent. Southern Irish was the most popular accent with 27% finding their dulcet tones the sexiest. Southern Irish was also considered the friendliest accent, just ahead of Geordie and Scottish accents.


Despite the apparent importance we give to other people’s accents, it seems we hold particular favour with our own. When away from home two thirds felt they would connect better with someone who had a similar accent and 55% were proud of their regional enunciations. A surprisingly 30% didn’t think they had an accent at all.

Psychologist Dr Glenn Wilson at Kings College, London said: “Accents can play a huge role in our initial attitude towards others. This explains why some people are more likely to adapt their accent to avoid being stereotyped and to encourage a particular impression.”

“There are essentially two components to an accent – location and strength. The location of someone’s accent encourages particular stereotypes and we presume people with stronger accents are less intelligent and are educated to a lesser degree. This may explain why Gordon Brown appears to have worked on playing down his Scottish burr.”

“It is not surprising that we feel more comfortable interacting with a person who has an accent similar to ours. We can presume a wealth of shared experience, values and attitudes and feel safer when those about us are predictable.”

For Further statistics visits

Hear the World is a global initiative by Phonak Hearing Systems that aims to raise awareness on the topic of hearing and encourage people to protect their ears today to avoid hearing loss in the future. The Hear the World campaign is being supported by a number of celebrity ambassadors including Bryan Adams, Placido Domingo, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, Lindsay Lohan, Moby and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. For more information about the campaign, visit

Most Popular Accent:

Southern Irish

Most Annoying:


Most Untrustworthy:


Most Attractive:

Southern Irish


Issued by: Pegasus Public Relations
On behalf of: Phonak’s Hear the World campaign
Press enquiries: David Greenwood / Chris Webb (01903) 821550


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