Dissertation Information for Ronald Gregory Reid
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: The effect of digitally shortening and lengthening pauses on listening comprehension
Abstract: The purpose of the study was to determine the effect of digitally shortening and lengthening pauses on listening comprehension. Using digital audio software, pauses within the Brown, Carlsen, Carstens (BCC) Listening Comprehension Test were modified to create a control group version (unaltered) and three experimental versions: pauses lengthened by 300 msec; pauses shortened by 150 msec; and, pauses shortened by 300 msec. Effects of these treatments on listening comprehension were measured for each of the five individual BCC sections and for composite scores. Subjects were 144 college students enrolled in undergraduate psychology classes. Means of numbers of incorrect responses were used in analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis calculations. Results demonstrated statistical significance for two BCC test sections, Section C (Recognizing Transitions) and Section D (Recognizing Word Meanings). For Section C, lengthening pauses by 300 msec yielded a significant difference at the .05 level. For Section D, the control group condition (with unaltered original pause lengths) yielded a significant difference at the .10 level. Testing for which differences of significance were not found revealed that presentation rate could be increased (via pause length shortening) without loss of comprehension-in other words, that listening efficiency could be increased. Designated as primary beneficiaries of the research were clients of the National Library Service (the producers of "Talking Books") and distance learners using audio-enhanced web-based materials. Recommended were further studies involving different pause lengths, subjects and stimulus materials, as well as the development of software that allows users to select from a variety of offered pause lengths.
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