Simulated Critical Differences for Speech Reception Thresholds Purpose Critical differences state by how much 2 test results have to differ in order to be significantly different. Critical differences for discrimination scores have been available for several decades, but they do not exist for speech reception thresholds (SRTs). This study presents and discusses how critical differences for SRTs ... Research Article
Research Article  |   January 01, 2017
Simulated Critical Differences for Speech Reception Thresholds
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Ellen Raben Pedersen
    The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  • Peter Møller Juhl
    The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
  • Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The authors have declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication. ×
  • Correspondence to Ellen Raben Pedersen: erpe@mmmi.sdu.dk
  • Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray
    Editor: Nancy Tye-Murray×
  • Associate Editor: Todd Ricketts
    Associate Editor: Todd Ricketts×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Special Populations / Cultural & Linguistic Diversity / Genetic & Congenital Disorders / Hearing / Research Articles
Research Article   |   January 01, 2017
Simulated Critical Differences for Speech Reception Thresholds
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 238-250. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0445
History: Received December 28, 2015 , Revised May 21, 2016 , Accepted July 7, 2016
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, January 2017, Vol. 60, 238-250. doi:10.1044/2016_JSLHR-H-15-0445
History: Received December 28, 2015; Revised May 21, 2016; Accepted July 7, 2016

Purpose Critical differences state by how much 2 test results have to differ in order to be significantly different. Critical differences for discrimination scores have been available for several decades, but they do not exist for speech reception thresholds (SRTs). This study presents and discusses how critical differences for SRTs can be estimated by Monte Carlo simulations. As an application of this method, critical differences are proposed for a 5-word sentences test (a matrix test) using 2 widely implemented adaptive test procedures.

Method For each procedure, simulations were performed for different parameters: the number of test sentences, the j factor, the distribution of the subjects' true SRTs, and the slope of the discrimination function. For 1 procedure and 1 parameter setting, simulation data are compared with results found by listening tests (experimental data).

Results The critical differences were found to depend on the parameters tested, including interactive effects. The critical differences found by simulation agree with data found experimentally.

Conclusions As the critical differences for SRTs rely on multiple parameters, they must be determined for each parameter setting individually. However, with knowledge of the test setup, rules of thumb can be derived.

Acknowledgments
This study was supported by Oticon Foundation Grants 12-1361 and 15-0593, awarded to the University of Southern Denmark. Parts of the study, including preliminary results, were presented at the Baltic-Nordic Acoustic Meeting 2014, Tallinn, Estonia, June 2–4, and at the 7th Speech in Noise Workshop, Copenhagen, Denmark, January 8–9, 2015.
The authors thank Thomas Brand, of Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, Germany, for clearing up questions regarding the work of Brand and Kollmeier (2002) . Regarding the experimental data, the authors thank Stine Søe Pedersen and Sabina Haahr Storbjerg from the Audiology and Logopedics Studies program at the University of Southern Denmark for running the listening tests, as well as Carsten Daugaard from DELTA for providing the equipment. The authors also thank the test subjects for taking time to participate.
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