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Type: Thesis
Title: Hidden disability: Speech intelligibility and stereotypes of the hearing-impaired
Author: Asimakopoulos, Angela
Issue Date: 2016
School/Discipline: School of Psychology
Abstract: Although there is a large amount of literature examining the negative stereotyping of people with various kinds of disabilities, few studies have researched stereotypes associated with the hearing-impaired. Hearing-impaired individuals have often been marginalised from society and treated as “outsiders”. The hearing-impaired often display complications in producing speech with quality and clarity, eliciting speech comprehension difficulties, thus making them more susceptible to negative attitudes and stereotyping. Speech intelligibility (SI) refers to the degree of speech that can be comprehended by a listener, with low-SI linked to unfavourable perceptions. The present study aimed to examine hearing-impaired stereotypes made by hearing-persons under low SI and high SI conditions using Fiske and colleagues’ (2002) ‘Stereotype Content Model’ (SCM) dimensions of competence and warmth. The sample comprised of N= 130 undergraduate university students who were randomly assigned an audio interview (high or low SI condition) and then asked to complete several survey items. Competence stereotypes were found to significantly differ between SI conditions, with higher competence for the high-SI condition. Prior contact and levels were considered an important factor contributing to stereotype formation, but actually contributed towards more positive attitudes towards the deaf. Although primarily positive attitudes towards the hearing-impaired were found in the sample, no significant gender differences were uncovered. The social and interactional implications for hearing-impaired persons such as the use of hearing aids offering auditory amplification and its links with SI were discussed. Finally, limitations of the present research posed several questions for future research to address.
Dissertation Note: Thesis (B.Sc.(Hons)) -- University of Adelaide, School of Psychology, 2016
Keywords: Honours; Psychology
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