1aSC31. Social influence on the phonemic transformation effect.

Session: Monday Morning, December 2


Author: Verlin B. Hinsz
Location: Psych. Dept., North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND 58105
Author: Magdalene H. Chalikia
Location: Moorhead State Univ., Moorhead, MN 56563
Author: David Matz
Location: North Dakota State Univ., Fargo, ND 58105


Earlier studies found that repeated sequences of brief steady-state vowels are heard as verbal forms, a phenomenon referred to as the phonemic transformation effect (PTE). It has also been established [Chalikia et al., J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 91, 2422(A) (1992)] that, when two listeners' responses differ, they can identify the particular stimulus corresponding to each other's verbal forms. Other research suggests that unclear stimuli can be influenced by social forces. The present study examined social influences on the PTE. Participants were first asked to describe their verbal forms for ten vowel sequences used in previous studies. Then they were presented with verbal forms reported by previous listeners and were asked to match them to the ten stimuli. Most listeners performed the matching task, indicating that they could perceptually reorganize each stimulus. Finally, they were asked to listen to the sequences again and describe their verbal forms. About 47% of these responses corresponded to those provided by previous listeners, indicating that social information influenced some of the second responses to these stimuli. Implications concerning the perceptual interpretation of speech and social impact theory will be discussed.

ASA 132nd meeting - Hawaii, December 1996