Influence of Text Type, Topic Familiarity, and Stuttering Frequency on Listener Recall, Comprehension, and Mental Effort

Panico, James; Healey, E. Charles
April 2009
Journal of Speech, Language & Hearing Research;Apr2009, Vol. 52 Issue 2, p534
Academic Journal
Purpose: To determine how text type, topic familiarity, and stuttering frequency influence listener recall, comprehension, and perceived mental effort. Method: Sixty adults listened to familiar and unfamiliar narrative and expository texts produced with 0%, 5%, 10%, and 15% stuttering. Participants listened to 4 experimental text samples at only 1 stuttering frequency. After hearing the text samples, each listener performed a free recall task, answered cued recall questions, answered story comprehension questions, and rated their perceived mental effort. Results: Free and cued recall as well as story comprehension scores were higher for narrative than for expository texts. Free and cued recall scores were better for familiar than for unfamiliar stories, although topic familiarity did not affect story comprehension scores. Samples with all levels of stuttering resulted in higher mental effort ratings for both text types and topic familiarities. Conclusions: Stuttering has a greater influence on listener recall and comprehension for narrative than for expository texts. Topic familiarity affects free and cued recall but has no influence on story comprehension. Regardless of the amount of stuttering, mental effort was high for both text types and levels of familiarity.


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