ASA 128th Meeting - Austin, Texas - 1994 Nov 28 .. Dec 02

5pSP9. Forward and backward presentation of Chinese and English speech in the verbal transformation effect.

Magdalene H. Chalikia

Rachel Waldstein

William J. Stech

Dept. of Psychol., Moorhead State Univ., Moorhead, MN 56563

When hearing a word which is continuously repeated, listeners report that the word seems to change into different forms and then vacillates among these forms. This auditory illusion has been called the verbal transformation effect [R. M. Warren, Br. J. Psychol. 17, 249--258 (1961)] and is considered to be caused by the lack of verbal context, produced by the repetition. This study further investigated the role of context in the interpretation of auditory stimulation. Twenty-six listeners heard the individual, continuous, repetition of six stimuli: an English sentence, an English word, and a Chinese word (each played forward and backward). It was assumed that listeners will report verbal transformations with all stimuli except the English sentence, since only this condition contained sufficient contextual cues. Results showed that both forms of the English sentence were treated in the same manner, and that significantly more verbal transformations were reported with the words.