The effect of dialect on the persuasiveness of a radio advertisement



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An after-only experiment was conducted to determine the effect of dialect in a radio advertisement. Adult females of differing social class heard either a standard English or a Texas Southern dialect version of a radio advertisement. A factorial design was used to analyze differences between the two advertisements on the following set of variables: comprehension, credibility, attitude, and purchase intention. Standard English was found to be more effective for the entire set of variables. Social class was found to have no significant effect on either the entire set of variables or any individual variable. Covariates for chronological age, age when first moving to Texas or the South, and time lived in Texas or the South were found to have no significant effect on the set of variables, although increasing chronological age was significantly related to a more positive attitude towards the product advertised. The findings of a path analysis of a causal flow between the variables were in keeping with the literature on low commitment product adoption.