Author(s): MacKinnon SP, Hall S, Macintyre PD, MacKinnon SP, Hall S, Macintyre PD
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Abstract The stereotype of people who stutter is predominantly negative, holding that stutterers are excessively nervous, anxious, and reserved. The anchoring-adjustment hypothesis suggests that the stereotype of stuttering arises from a process of first anchoring the stereotype in personal feelings during times of normal speech disfluency, and then adjusting based on a rapid heuristic judgment. The current research sought to test this hypothesis, elaborating on previous research by [White, P. A., & Collins, S. R. (1984). Stereotype formation by inference: A possible explanation for the "stutterer" stereotype. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 27, 567-570]. Participants provided ratings of a hypothetical typical person who stutters, a person suffering from normal speech disfluency and a typical male on a 25-item semantic differential scale. Results showed a stereotype of people who stutter similar to that found in previous research. The pattern of results is consistent with the anchoring-adjustment hypothesis. Ratings of a male stutterer are very similar to a male experiencing temporary disfluency, both of which differ from ratings of a typical male. As expected, ratings of a stutterer show a small but statistically significant adjustment on several traits that makes the stereotype of stutterers less negative and less emotionally extreme than the temporarily disfluent male. Based on the results of this research, it appears that stereotype formation is a result of generalization and adjustment from personal experience during normal speech disfluency. EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES: The reader will be able to: (1) explain how the negative stereotype of people who stutter arises; (2) discuss the negative implications of stereotypes in the lives of people who stutter; and (3) summarize why the stereotype of people who stutter is so consistent and resistant to change.
This article was published in J Fluency Disord
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior