Speech intelligibility and the evaluation of personal qualities by experienced and inexperienced listeners

Tova Most*, Amatzia Weisel, Avivit Lev-Matezky

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


This study investigated the effect of speech intelligibility on evaluations of personal qualities. The researchers played recordings of normally hearing children and of children with severe or profound hearing losses reading a simple passage to listeners. Some of the listeners were familiar with the speech of children with hearing losses (i.e., experienced listeners) and others were not (i.e., inexperienced listeners). Listeners evaluated the speakers' speech intelligibility, cognitive competence, and personality by semantic differential scales. The results revealed that the experienced listeners scored speech intelligibility higher than the inexperienced listeners. The speakers' speech intelligibility and the listeners' experience significantly affected listeners' evaluation of speakers' cognitive competence and personality. For the inexperienced listeners, as their ratings of speakers' speech intelligibility declined, their ratings of speakers' cognitive competence and personality declined. For the experienced listeners, normally hearing speakers with better speech intelligibility received better evaluations, but the children with severe hearing losses and the children with profound hearing losses received similar evaluations, even though they differed in their speech intelligibility.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-190
Number of pages10
JournalVolta Review
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1996


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