The Aphasiology Archive
University Library System, University of Pittsburgh

What makes a good story? The naiumlve rater's perception

Christensen, Stephanie C. and Wright, Heather Harris and Ross, Katherine and Katz, Richard and Capilouto, Gilson
What makes a good story? The naiumlve rater's perception . Aphasiology, 23(7-8), July, 2009, pages 898-913.


Background: Individuals with aphasia (IWA) present with language impairments at the discourse level. Recently researchers have found a relationship between discourse measures in aphasia and raters' perceptions of the quality of language produced by IWA. However, the relationship between naiumlve raters' perceptions of language quality and linguistic measures of discourse in individuals without aphasia is less clear. Due to variations in researchers' intentions, discourse tasks used, objective measures analysed, and methods used to assess language quality, a cogent understanding of what linguistic measures impact the perception of language quality is still lacking. If certain discourse measures important for differentiating the language quality of individuals with language impairments are also important to distinguishing the quality of stories produced by individuals without language impairments, those elements should have a significant impact on communicative success for IWA.

Aims: The purpose of this study was to determine if linguistic elements known to correlate with language quality ratings of stories told by IWA were also predictive of story quality ratings for discourse produced by adults without language impairments.

Method & Procedures: This study used direct magnitude estimation (DME) to determine how linguistic differences revealed through discourse analysis correlated with naiumlve raters' (N = 12) subjective ratings of “what makes a good story”. Naiumlve raters judged the quality of two narratives (stories elicited from a sequential picture stimulus and a wordless picture book) told by younger and older adults without language impairments.

Outcomes & Results: Results indicated a positive relationship among measures commonly used in aphasia research, and raters' perceptions of story quality for stories told by adults without language impairments. However, measures that predicted raters' perceptions of story quality differed by discourse stimuli. For the stories told while viewing the wordless picture book, story quality was predicted by the proportion of story propositions (SPs) conveyed and the percent of information units (%IUs) produced while controlling for total number of words. However, for the sequential picture description task, the linear combination of %IUs and proportion of main events produced did not predict story quality ratings.

Conclusions: Discourse measures used with IWA were predictive of story quality ratings for stories told by adults without aphasia when the discourse task involved narratives elicited from a wordless picture book, but not for shorter stories elicited from sequential picture descriptions.

EPrint Type:Journal (Paginated)
ID Code:1824
Conference:Clinical Aphasiology Conference: Clinical Aphasiology Conference (2008 : 38th : Jackson Hole, WY : May 27 - June 1, 2008)
Publisher:Taylor and Francis
Alternative Locations:
DOI or Unique Handle:10.1080/02687030802642010
Additional Information:Access to the full text is subject to the publisher's access restrictions.