Why We Don’t Trust Simon Cowell

America Idol made an announcement Wednesday that Steven Tyler, Jennifer Lopez, and holdover Randy Jackson will be the new judges for season 10 of the hit Fox show. So it seems America won’t have it’s favorite villain, Simon Cowell, to kick around anymore. With the announcement, it made me remember a piece of research I read recently. It’s something that could stop you from making your next sale, especially if you sell globally. What is it?   

You tell me, when you watched Simon on the Idol did you like him? I actually, on the rare occasion I watched the show, thought he was funny..but not everyone does, and the reason may be more then he tends to be an ass.

Researchers from the University of Chicago and professor Boaz Keysar wanted test people with accents to see if they were believed more or less then people without accents. 

To test the impact of accent on credibility, American participants were asked to judge the truthfulness of trivia statements by native or non-native speakers of English, such as, “A giraffe can go without water longer than a camel can.”

Simple prejudice could affect ratings of truthfulness, so the researchers tried to minimize that effect by telling participants the information in the statements was prepared for the speakers, and was not based on the speakers’ own knowledge

Despite knowing the speakers were reciting from a script, the participants judged as less truthful the statements coming from people with foreign accents. On a truthfulness scale prepared for the experiment, the participants gave native speakers a score of 7.5, people with mild accents a score of 6.95 and people with heavy accents a score of 6.84.

“The accent makes it harder for people to understand what the non-native speaker is saying,” Keysar said. “They misattribute the difficulty of understanding the speech to the truthfulness of the statements.”

So Simon..our favorite villain, may have been believed less because he does not sound like us. Poor guy will just have to be happy with his millions.

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