The effect of dysfluency on listeners’ perceptions of people who stutter
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Stuttering approaches that advocate for a relaxed communication environment do so to reduce negative emotions that exacerbate dysfluency. Normally fluent speakers, through negative perceptions in conversation, risk threatening this relaxed environment. Therefore, greater insight into these perceptions will aid people who stutter in ‘reality-checking’ the impact their stutter has on conversation. Methods: 4 university students who do not stutter (19-23 years) including 2 males and 2 females completed semi-structured interviews. They were asked about their knowledge and opinions about stuttering, then shown a video clip of various people who stutter and asked their feelings and opinions on the speech and overall communication observed. The data were analysed thematically to identify what speech and non-speech factors affect their perceptions of people who stutter. Results: Themes relating to fluidity of speech, quality of conversation, and ease of listening were identified. Participants also commented on factors unrelated to stuttering, particularly speaker engagement, body language, and voice. One further discussion point was the participants’ insight into stuttering, how this affected their interactions, and how this changed after watching the stimulus video. Conclusions: Although stuttering itself is a factor which affects listeners’ perceptions of people who stutter, factors other than the dysfluency itself play an equal or greater role, interacting and contributing to listeners’ impressions. This can support people who stutter when considering the impact of their dysfluency on a conversation.
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Shaw, Katharine (Cardiff Metropolitan University, 2015)Background: Previous research has shown that the majority of people hold negative stereotypes for people who stutter. However, some studies have shown that people express positive attitudes and perceptions. In addition, ...
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