Modification of listening comprehension at an accelerated rate and altered pitch



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The purpose of the present investigation was to demonstrate that people can learn to comprehend speech presented at a rate and pitch approximately twice that of typical speech during a lecture. Rapid messages presented in this way was termed speeded speech. Four testable hypotheses were stated. Hypothesis one proposed that there would be no initial differences between, the performance of two randomly assigned groups of subjects in comprehension of speeded speech. The second hypothesis stated that the subjects receiving training in listening to speeded speech, the experimental group, would significantly increase their level of performance in listening comprehension of speeded speech as compared to their initial performance. The third hypothesis stated that the subjects who did not receive training would not make a significant increase in their performance as compared to their initial efforts. Finally, it was hypothesized that there would be a significant difference between the final performance, in comprehending speeded speech, between the two groups. A statistical analysis of the data revealed that the first three hypotheses were supported, but the fourth hypothesis was not confirmed. Three factors were discussed which appeared to have effected the results, which in turn resulted in failure to confirm the last hypothesis. Although some learning was evidenced in this study, which suggested that subjects did benefit from training in listening to speeded speech, it was recommended that the data be interpreted carefully. The present study was considered encouraging and two recommendations were made for future research. First, the suggestion was made that subjects be given longer periods of training in listening to speeded speech. In addition, due to a sex bias in learning to comprehend speeded speech, favoring males, which was revealed in this study, the sex of subjects was proposed as an important variable, in itself, for future research.



Listening, Comprehension--Testing