Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine whether children's identification of misarticulated words as real objects was influenced by an inherent bias toward selecting real objects or whether a change in experimental conditions could impact children's selections.
Method: Forty preschool children aged 4 years 0 months to 6 years 11 months across 2 experiments heard accurate productions of real words (e.g., “leaf”), misarticulated words (e.g., “weaf” and “yeaf”), and unrelated nonwords (e.g., “geem”). Within the misarticulated words, the commonness of the substitute was controlled to be “common” or “uncommon.” Using the MouseTracker software, children were asked to select between a real object (e.g., a leaf) and a novel object (Experiment 1) or between a real object (e.g., a leaf) and a blank square, which represented a hidden object (Experiment 2).
Results: Consistent with previous findings, children chose real objects significantly more when they heard accurate productions (e.g., “leaf”) than misarticulated productions (e.g., “weaf” or “yeaf”) across both experiments. In misarticulation conditions, real object selections were lower than in the previous study; however, children chose real objects significantly more in the common misarticulation condition than in the uncommon misarticulation condition.
Conclusions: The results of this study are consistent with previous findings. Children's behavioral responses depended upon the task. Despite these differences in the task, children demonstrated ease in integrating variability into their word identification.
Krueger, B. & Storkel, H. L. (2020). Children’s response bias and identification of misarticulated words. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 63, 259-273. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_JSLHR-19-00140