Effects of outward communicator traits on complaint perception
Miller, Kurtis David
Kopfman, Jenifer E.
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Participants rated their perceptions of complaints which were presented as delivered by individuals with differing gender and racial/ethnic traits in terms of severity/seriousness, interest, and fairness. The presented gender of the complainer had no significant effect on perceptions of severity/seriousness, interest, or fairness, but the presented racial/ethnic identity of the complainer had statistically significant effects in all three areas. Unexpectedly, complaints were rated as more severe/serious, interesting, and fair when they were presented as delivered by members of racial/ethnic minorities than when they were presented as delivered by members of the racial/ethnic majority. Post hoc findings also revealed a tendency for female respondents to rate complaints higher in terms of severity, interest, and fairness than male respondents.