Perceptual Evaluation of Voice Quality Review, Tutorial, and a Framework for Future Research Research Article
EDITOR'S AWARD
Research Article  |   February 01, 1993
Perceptual Evaluation of Voice Quality
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Jody Kreiman
    VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Bruce R. Gerratt
    VA Medical Center, West Los Angeles and UCLA School of Medicine Los Angeles, CA
  • Gail B. Kempster
    Governors State University University Park, IL
  • Andrew Erman
    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: Jody Kreiman, PhD, VAMC, West Los Angeles, Audiology and Speech Pathology (126), Wilshire and SawtelleBoulevards, Los Angeles, CA 90073.
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1993
Perceptual Evaluation of Voice Quality
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 21-40. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.21
History: Received May 12, 1992 , Accepted July 10, 1992
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1993, Vol. 36, 21-40. doi:10.1044/jshr.3601.21
History: Received May 12, 1992; Accepted July 10, 1992

The reliability of listeners’ ratings of voice quality is a central issue in voice research because of the clinical primacy of such ratings and because they are the standard against which other measures are evaluated. However, an extensive literature review indicates that both intrarater and interrater reliability fluctuate greatly from study to study. Further, our own data indicate that ratings of vocal roughness vary widely across individual clinicians, with a single voice often receiving nearly the full range of possible ratings. No model or theoretical framework currently exists to explain these variations, although such a model might guide development of efficient, valid, and standardized clinical protocols for voice evaluation. We propose a theoretical framework that attributes variability in ratings to several sources (including listeners’ backgrounds and biases, the task used to gather ratings, interactions between listeners and tasks, and random error). This framework may guide development of new clinical voice and speech evaluation protocols, ultimately leading to more reliable perceptual ratings and a better understanding of the perceptual qualities of pathological voices.

Acknowledgments
We thank our expert listeners Mary J. Bacon, Steven Bielamowicz, Robert Block, Nancy Brough, Hong-Shik Choi, S. Trey Fyte, Patricia Gomeztrejo, Susanne Hildebrand, Leona Hubatch, Ann E. Kalec, Daniel Kempler, Ming Ye, Julianne Morlock, Lee Nguyen, Janet Novak, Clare Anne Paskiet, Douglas Ross, Shimon Sapir, Joel Sercarz, Steven Sloan, Julie Trautmann, Diana Van Lancker, and Mary Walsh, for volunteering their time. This work was supported in part by grant # DC 00855–01 from the NIDCD and Merit Review funds from the DVA.
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