Date Presented

Spring 5-15-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science



First Advisor

Dr. Ei Hlaing

Second Advisor

Dr. Virginia Cylke

Third Advisor

Dr. Laura Kicklighter


Prior research has shown that listeners may hold a variety of negative attitudes towards individuals with speech or language disorders, such as beliefs that they are lower in intelligence, friendliness, or competence (Allards & Williams, 2008; Bettens et al., 2020; Lallh & Rochet, 2000). These studies have suggested that attitudes tend to vary based on the type and severity of the disorder, but results are inconclusive on specific communication characteristics impacting perceptions. The present study measured participants’ attitudes towards an actor portraying either a language, fluency, articulation, or voice disorder. The between-subjects design involved participants being randomly assigned to listen to one of the four disorder conditions and then completing scales measuring their beliefs about the speaker’s warmth and competence, credibility, intelligence, and how close they would be willing to become with the speaker. Participants rated the speaker’s verbal intelligence significantly lower if the speaker had a lisp, and participants in the hoarseness of voice condition preferred significantly more distance from the speaker. Additional analysis indicated that participants in the Wernicke’s aphasia condition rated the speaker significantly lower in the traits of competence, credibility, and overall intelligence. The results suggest that not all forms of attitudes are impacted by the presence of communication disorders; however, some negative attitudes do exist toward this population. Implications for potential anti-bias training are discussed, with a focus on the traits that significantly varied between disorders.

Included in

Psychology Commons