NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ990597
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 10
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1368-2822
Culture and Listeners' Gaze Responses to Stuttering
Zhang, Jianliang; Kalinowski, Joseph
International Journal of Language & Communication Disorders, v47 n4 p388-397 Jul-Aug 2012
Background: It is frequently observed that listeners demonstrate gaze aversion to stuttering. This response may have profound social/communicative implications for both fluent and stuttering individuals. However, there is a lack of empirical examination of listeners' eye gaze responses to stuttering, and it is unclear whether cultural background plays a role in regulating listeners' eye gaze response to stuttering. Aim: To examine listeners' eye gaze responses to stuttering speech relative to fluent speech in three cultural groups. Methods & Procedures: Eighteen African-American, 18 European-American and 18 Chinese adults were audiovisually presented with three stuttering and three fluent speech samples, when an eye-tracking device simultaneously recorded their gaze behaviours. The targets of listeners' eye gaze included four regions of interest (ROIs) on the speaker's face: eyes, nose, mouth and outside (i.e., everything else). Listeners' per cent of gaze time, gaze fixation count and average duration of gaze fixation were analysed with repeated-measures ANOVAs regarding each ROI as functions of the speaker's fluency status and listeners' cultural background. Outcomes & Results: When observing stuttering speech, listeners tended to reduce gaze fixation duration on the speaker's eyes and increase their gaze time on the mouth. However, different from the two American groups, the Chinese group reduced their gaze time on the speaker's mouth. In addition, the Chinese participants' gaze behaviours were more focused on the ROI of outside, whereas the two American groups showed a similar focus on the ROIs of eyes and mouth. Conclusions & Implications: All groups of listeners responded to stuttering with gaze aversions mainly contributed to by a reduction in gaze fixation duration rather than gaze fixation number. This pattern of gaze aversion suggests that stuttering oppresses listeners with an emotional and/or cognitive overload. Attention shift and compensation strategies for speech signal degradation may also account for listeners' gaze responses to stuttering. Cultural differences in eye gaze responses to stuttering were observed mainly between Chinese and American listeners. (Contains 4 tables and 1 figure.)
Wiley-Blackwell. 350 Main Street, Malden, MA 02148. Tel: 800-835-6770; Tel: 781-388-8598; Fax: 781-388-8232; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: North Carolina