The Effect of Anchors and Training on the Reliability of Perceptual Voice Evaluation Perceptual voice evaluation is a common clinical tool for rating the severity of vocal quality impairment. However, the evaluation process involves subjective judgment, and reliability is therefore a major issue that needs to be considered. When listeners are asked to judge the quality of a voice signal, they use their ... Research Article
Research Article  |   February 01, 2002
The Effect of Anchors and Training on the Reliability of Perceptual Voice Evaluation
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Karen M. K. Chan
    Voice Research Laboratory Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences The University of Hong Kong
  • Edwin M-L. Yiu, PhD
    Voice Research Laboratory Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences The University of Hong Kong
  • Contact author: Edwin Yiu, PhD, Voice Research Laboratory, Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, 5/F Prince Philip Dental Hospital, 34 Hospital Road, Hong Kong. E-mail: eyiu@hku.hk
Article Information
Speech, Voice & Prosodic Disorders / Voice Disorders / Speech / Research Articles
Research Article   |   February 01, 2002
The Effect of Anchors and Training on the Reliability of Perceptual Voice Evaluation
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2002, Vol. 45, 111-126. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/009)
History: Received May 15, 2001 , Accepted November 20, 2001
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, February 2002, Vol. 45, 111-126. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2002/009)
History: Received May 15, 2001; Accepted November 20, 2001
Web of Science® Times Cited: 72

Perceptual voice evaluation is a common clinical tool for rating the severity of vocal quality impairment. However, the evaluation process involves subjective judgment, and reliability is therefore a major issue that needs to be considered. When listeners are asked to judge the quality of a voice signal, they use their own internal standards as the references. These internal standards can be variable, as different individuals may have acquired different standards in prior situations. In order to improve the reliability of the perceptual voice evaluation process, external anchors and training are provided to counteract the effect of these internal standards. This study investigated to what extent the provision of anchors and a training program would improve the reliability of perceptual voice evaluation by naive listeners. The results show, in general, that anchors and training helped to improve the reliability of perceptual voice evaluation, especially in the rating of male voices. Furthermore, it was found that anchors made up of synthesized signals combined with training were more effective in improving reliability in judging perceptual roughness and breathiness than natural voice anchors.

Acknowledgments
The authors would like to acknowledge that this project was supported in part by grants from Hong Kong Research Grant Council (HKU7197/98H) and Sik Sik Yuen Educational Grant. We would like to gratefully acknowledge Ms. Emily Chan and Mr. Miroslav Kümmel for their advice on the statistical designs for this study. We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to the speech pathologists and speech pathology students who participated in the study.
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