Speed of speech and persuasion

Norman Miller, Geoffrey Maruyama, Rex J. Beaber, Keith Valone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


The relationship between speaking rate and attitude change was investigated in 2 field experiments with 449 Ss. Manipulations of speech rate were crossed with (a) credibility of the speaker and (b) complexity of the spoken message. Results suggest that speech rate functions as a general cue that augments credibility; rapid speech enhances persuasion, and therefore argues against information-processing interpretations of the effects of a fast speaking rate. When novel speech content was used in Exp II to prevent simple retrieval of stock counterarguments, it was observed that increased persuasion produced by fast speech could not be attributed to disruption of effective counterarguing. It is concluded that findings emphasize the importance of perceptual and evaluative factors in the persuasion process at the expense of a more rationalistic information-processing view of how man responds when confronted with an influence attempt. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-624
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of personality and social psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1976


  • relationship to persuasiveness of complex &
  • simpler messages, urban residents
  • speed of speech, credibility of speaker &


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