Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy


Counseling Psychology

First Adviser

Spokane, Arnold

Other advisers/committee members

Liang, Christopher; Woodhouse, Susan; Marsh, Jessecae


This study sought to determine whether there was an implicit bias within the field of counseling towards counselors with Southern U.S. accents. Specifically, this study examined whether counselors with Southern accents would be rated differently, in regards to competence for both general and multicultural competence, compared to counselors with non-Southern accents when in a mock interview situation. Results revealed no significant difference in perceived competence between counselors presenting with a Southern accent and counselors with a non-Southern accent. Significant results were found related to participant region among participants who rated the Southern accent counselor. Specifically, individuals who identified as being from the Midwest rated the Southern accented counselor significantly lower on multicultural competence than individuals who identified as being from the Northeast. Additionally, it was found that the Southern accented vignette character was rated significantly higher on the CRF-S subscale of attractiveness that includes characteristics of being “friendly,” “likable,” “social,” and “warm,” compared to the non-Southern accent vignette character. Potential explanations for the significant findings, as well as alternative explanations for the non-significant results, were explored.