Comparing Internal and External Standards in Voice Quality Judgments A new descriptive framework for voice quality perception (Kreiman, Gerratt, Kempster, Erman, & Berke, 1993) states that when listeners rate a voice on some quality dimension (e.g., roughness), they compare the stimulus presented to an internal standard or scale. Hypothetically, substituting explicit, external standards for these unstable internal standards should ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1993
Comparing Internal and External Standards in Voice Quality Judgments
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Bruce R. Gerratt
    VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Jody Kreiman
    VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Norma Antonanzas-Barroso
    VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Gerald S. Berke
    VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Contact author: Bruce R. Gerratt, PhD, Audiology and Speech Pathology (126), VAMC, West Los Angeles, Wilshire and Sawtelle Boulevards, Los Angeles, CA 90073.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1993
Comparing Internal and External Standards in Voice Quality Judgments
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 14-20. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.14
History: Received March 3, 1992 , Accepted July 10, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 14-20. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.14
History: Received March 3, 1992; Accepted July 10, 1992

A new descriptive framework for voice quality perception (Kreiman, Gerratt, Kempster, Erman, & Berke, 1993) states that when listeners rate a voice on some quality dimension (e.g., roughness), they compare the stimulus presented to an internal standard or scale. Hypothetically, substituting explicit, external standards for these unstable internal standards should improve listener reliability. Further, the framework suggests that internal standards for vocal qualities are inherently unstable, and may be influenced by factors other than the physical signal being judged. Among these factors, context effects may cause drift in listeners’ voice ratings by influencing the internal standard against which judgments are made. To test these hypotheses, we asked 12 clinicians to judge the roughness of 22 synthetic stimuli using two scales: a traditional 5-point equal-appearing interval (EAI) scale and a scale with explicit anchor stimuli for each scale point. The stimulus set included a relatively large number of normal and mildly rough voices. We predicted that this would produce an increase in the perceived roughness of moderately rough stimuli over time for the EAI ratings, but not for the explicitly anchored ratings. Ratings made using the anchored scale were significantly more reliable than those gathered using the unanchored paradigm. Further, as predicted, ratings on the unanchored EAI scale drifted significantly within a listening session in the direction expected, but ratings on the anchored scale did not. These results are consistent with our framework and suggest that explicitly anchored paradigms for voice quality evaluation might improve both research and clinical practice.

Acknowledgments
We thank our expert listeners Gregory Ator, Evan Bates, Robert Block, Hong-Shik Choi, Pavel Dulgerov, Andrew Erman, Rob Mickel, Douglas Ross, Steven Sloan, Julie Trautmann, Quang Tran, and Mary Walsh for volunteering their time. This research was supported in part by NIDCD grant # DC 00855–01 and funds from the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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