Faculty Mentor

Julia Smith

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The purpose of this research is to determine how stuttering is viewed and whether education about stuttering will alter listeners’ perceptions towards stutterers. A widely used therapy technique associated with stuttering is self-advertising, where stutterers notify their listener that they stutter than those who do not. Studies have shown that listeners react more positively towards stutterers who self-advertise. My research takes this idea further, investigating how stuttering is perceived in groups who are educated about stuttering and groups who are not. To research this, I interviewed students and constructed a survey that I gave to a control group and an experimental group, which received education about stuttering prior to answering. The findings from these groups were compared to see if there was a statistically significant difference between the two groups to infer that simple education about stuttering alters perceptions about stutterers. The results of this study help us understand the stigma surrounding stutterers and how education can alter that.

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