The effects of self-disclosure on listener perceptions of male and female individuals who stutter
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Research has shown that when a person who stutters self-discloses to a listener that he or she is a stutterer, this self-disclosure may positively impact the listeners' perceptions of the stuttering speaker. However, findings from previous studies have been limited in several ways. The purpose of this study was to further examine if listeners' perceptions of a stuttering speaker vary depending on whether or not the speaker self-discloses that they stutter, and if listener perceptions are subject to gender bias. We addressed limitations of prior studies by utilizing both male and female stuttering speakers who spoke directly to the viewer of the video, by balancing combinations of video viewings to account for potential effects of order, and by attempting to recruit a larger number of subjects. Participants (n =27) were randomly assigned to view two of the four possible videos (male self-disclosure, male no self-disclosure, female self-disclosure, and female no self-disclosure). After viewing both videos, participants immediately filled out a survey assessing their perceptions of the speakers' personality traits. Results for effects of self-disclosure achieved significance for "no difference" for traits of more intelligent, more unintelligent, and more unfriendly. These non-significant trends suggest self-disclosure might positively affect listener perceptions of a stuttering speaker, Results for effects of gender achieved significance for "no difference" for traits of more intelligent, more unintelligent, and more confident. In summary, results from this study show potential emerging trends that self-disclosure positively affects listeners' perceptions of stuttering speakers.