Although of varied form and in wide use, speech reception tests have their drawbacks. The following research was directed toward investigating and eliminating some of these negative aspects.
Speech reception testing evaluates the over-all hearing function, not just the sensory capacity of the ear to perceive sounds of various frequencies and intensities. Therefore, such cortical processes as synthesis, analysis, discrimination, cluster (guessing at the meaning from the relation of the various parts), memory, fatigue, effort, and language ability affect the outcome of any speech test in a manner which is nonpredictable today. Also, intertest validity suffers from factors governed by regional dialect, voice quality differences, articulation differences, etc., on the part of the tester.
Speech reception test elements are, by nature, heterogeneous. This means that no two words are exactly alike, and, as a result, we must not expect the listener to just hear all words at the same intensity.
ZARCOFF M. Correlation of Filtered, Band - Limited White Noise and the Speech Reception Threshold. AMA Arch Otolaryngol. 1958;68(3):372–381. doi:10.1001/archotol.1958.00730020384013
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