Effects of Synthetic Voice Output on Attitudes Toward the Augmented Communicator This study investigated the effects of four different voice synthesizers on attitudes of nondisabled individuals toward an augmented communicator. Subjects (N=284) viewed one of four videotapes depicting an adult VOCA (voice output communication aid) user having a conversation with a normal-speaking individual. The voice synthesizers used in the respective videotapes ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 1994
Effects of Synthetic Voice Output on Attitudes Toward the Augmented Communicator
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Carole Wood Gorernflo
    Eastern Michigan University Ypsilanti
  • Daniel W. Gorernflo
    University of Michigan Medical Center Ann Arbor
  • Sarah A. Santer
    Grandville Public Schools Grandville, MI
  • Contact author: Carole Wood Gorernflo, PhD, Speech-Language Pathology Program, Department of Special Education, Eastern Michigan University, Ypsilanti, Ml 48197.
Article Information
Augmentative & Alternative Communication / Speech, Voice & Prosody / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 1994
Effects of Synthetic Voice Output on Attitudes Toward the Augmented Communicator
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 64-68. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.64
History: Received January 5, 1993 , Accepted September 13, 1993
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 1994, Vol. 37, 64-68. doi:10.1044/jshr.3701.64
History: Received January 5, 1993; Accepted September 13, 1993

This study investigated the effects of four different voice synthesizers on attitudes of nondisabled individuals toward an augmented communicator. Subjects (N=284) viewed one of four videotapes depicting an adult VOCA (voice output communication aid) user having a conversation with a normal-speaking individual. The voice synthesizers used in the respective videotapes were ArticR65B male voice, Smoothtalker 3.0 male voice, RealVoice female, and DECtalk “Beautiful Betty.” The Attitudes Toward Nonspeaking Persons Scale (ATNP) was used as the primary dependent variable. Results showed that attitudes toward the augmented communicator are more favorable in terms of evaluation and potential interaction when the synthetic voice is “easier to listen to.” Gender-appropriate voice did not produce more favorable attitudes than gender-inappropriate voice. Implications of these findings for technological development of augmentative devices are discussed.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to express their appreciation to John Bryson Eulenberg for comments on an earlier version of this article and to Joan Jones and Kelly Petri of Communication Enterprises, Fraser, Michigan, for their technical assistance.
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