Listeners' attitude toward people with dysphonia

Ofer Amir*, Reut Levine-Yundof

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Objectives: The human voice provides extensive information about the speaker, in addition to the intended linguistic message. Therefore, voice is an essential component in the process of forming an initial attitude toward the speaker. People with communication disorders are typically judged by listeners more negatively than those speaking normally. This trend, however, was not reported consistently regarding voice disorders. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine listeners' attitude toward dysphonic speakers. In addition, the impact of speaker's and listener's gender on these attitudes was also examined. Methods: Seventy-four naive listeners evaluated recorded voice samples of six dysphonic and six nondysphonic speakers. Evaluation was performed using a semantic differential scale with 12 bipolar items. In addition, factor analysis was performed to validate listeners' attitudes and allow generalization of the results. Results: Statistically significant negative attitudes toward dysphonic speakers were found at all 12 scales (P < 0.001). Moreover, dysphonic women were rated more negatively than dysphonic men. Nonetheless, listeners' gender and age did not affect their attitude toward speakers (P > 0.05). These results were further enhanced and supported by a factor analysis performed based on the original attitude rating scores. Conclusions: Our findings provide empirical evidence for the negative attitudes with which dysphonic speakers are faced; demonstrating how women are affected by these attitudes more than men and highlight the importance of addressing and relating to these facets in the diagnostic and therapeutic process.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)524.e1-524.e10
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2013


  • Attitude
  • Dysphonia
  • Factor analysis
  • Hebrew
  • Semantic differential scale


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