Title page for ETD etd-10302000-14070023

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Whitt, Gary L.
Author's Email Address gwhitt@vt.edu
URN etd-10302000-14070023
Title The Effects of Speech Cues on Long-term Memory
Degree PhD
Department Teaching and Learning
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Burton, John K. Committee Chair
Holmes, Glen A. Committee Member
Moore, David Michael Committee Member
Sherman, Gregory P. Committee Member
Teates, Thomas G. Committee Member
  • multi-modal assessment
  • speech cues
  • speech
  • context dependent memory
Date of Defense 2000-10-24
Availability unrestricted
The Effects of Speech Cues on Long-term Memory

Gary Whitt


This research examines a possible relationship between intentional memory and possible phonologic cues in the human voice. Specifically, if someone has told us something in the past, does hearing that same voice at the time of recall affect our ability to remember what was said? Also, if voice cues do affect memory, is the effect voice-specific? Since most standardized assessments of student learning and tests of human memory rest their conclusions about human learning solely on non-aural tests, it is necessary to determine if student performance changes with test modality.

Via a computer program, ninety-five adults each listened to a male voice read a one-minute story and were then randomly assigned to take one of three different tests consisting of multiple-choice and fill-in-the-blank items. In the first test, the male voice from the story read all questions and possible answers. The second test used a different male voice to read while the third test was text-only. All tests contained identical content and gave single-modality cues only, text or speech.

Results show no significant difference in long-term recall or recognition with respect to test-modality. Further research in this area is encouraged to determine if conclusions are generalizable to wider populations and hold for longer memory intervals.

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