Can you ‘catch’ an accent from someone?
As social creatures, humans are good at blending in.
Asked by: Simon Thompson, Liverpool
If you spend enough time with them, it’s almost inevitable. Studies have found that we subconsciously try to imitate speech patterns of strangers, especially if we spend time abroad, where everyone speaks with a strange accent and we are the odd one out. Natural selection seems to have favoured people who have a desire to show empathy and fit in.
Subscribe to BBC Focus magazine for fascinating new Q&As every month and follow @sciencefocusQA on Twitter for your daily dose of fun science facts.
Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.
- Try your first 6 issues for just £9.99 when you subscribe to BBC Science Focus Magazine.
- Risk - free offer! Cancel at any time when you subscribe via Direct Debit.
- FREE UK delivery.
- Stay up to date with the latest developments in the worlds of science and technology.