Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship Program

"Silence in Conversation"

About the Project

Project Time & Type:
Spring 2013 - DURI
Research area(s):
Communication, Language, Social Interaction
Project Description:
Ever wonder why silent gaps in conversation seem strange or uncomfortable? Ever wonder if your grandparents feel the same way? This research builds on studies with undergraduates in several countries and starts to look at older age groups, people the age of your grandparents. We want to know if social cues, like gaps in conversation, are still recognized in the same way when people get older. We want to take into account things like hearing loss or trouble with memory.
Expected Student Contributions:
The intern will help develop and record realistic dialogues to be used as stimuli in the study. They will also help with editing sound files, administering the study to older adults, and help with the analysis stage where we think about our results and compare them with research in areas of language, cognition, and social interaction.
Related Website(s):
Desired Qualifications:
Some familiarity with sound editing is a plus, be we can easily train you. The software we will use is called "Praat" and is what we use for doing very fine analysis of speech.
Estimated Weekly Hours:
Department awards independent research credits for this project?
Yes, 2 credit hours

Professor in Charge

Roberts, Felicia

Student Supervisor

Felicia Roberts
Associate Professor

Cooperating Faculty

Alex Francis