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The accuracy with which adults who do not stutter predict stuttering-related communication attitudes

The purpose of this study was to examine the extent to which adults who do not stutter can predict communication-related attitudes of adults who do stutter. 40 adults (mean age of 22.5 years) evaluated speech samples from an adult with mild stuttering and an adult with severe stuttering via audio-only (n = 20) or audio-visual (n = 20) modes to predict how the adults had responded on the S24 scale of communication attitudes. Participants correctly predicted which speaker had the more favorable S24 score, and the predicted scores were significantly different between the severity conditions. Across the four subgroups, predicted S24 scores differed from actual scores by 4 to 9 points. Predicted values were greater than the actual values for 3 of 4 subgroups, but still relatively positive in relation to the S24 norm sample. Stimulus presentation mode interacted with stuttering severity to affect prediction accuracy. The participants predicted the speakers’ negative selfattributions more accurately than their positive self-attributions. Findings suggest that adults who do not stutter estimate the communication-related attitudes of specific adults who stutter in a manner that is generally accurate, though, in some conditions, somewhat more negative than the speaker’s actual ratings. At a group level, adults who do not stutter demonstrate the ability to discern minimal versus average levels of attitudinal impact for speakers who stutter. The participants’ complex prediction patterns are discussed in relation to stereotype accuracy and classic views of negative stereotyping.

from Journal of Fluency Disorders