Exploring the Relationship between Cognitive Bias and Stuttering

January 7, 2021
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A big topic of discussion at AIS is the impact our negative beliefs and biases have on us as people who stutter (PWS).  Dr. Naomi Rodgers recently presented her research on the relationship between stuttering and cognitive bias and led a masterful discussion on the topic.

Below are some of the key concepts covered, followed by a video of Dr. Rodgers's research findings.

What is Cognitive Bias?

Cognitive bias is the tendency to prioritize things in your environment that align with what you expect to find.

3 Common Kinds of Cognitive Biases:

  1. Interpretation bias — Attributing negative meaning to an ambiguous social scenario.
  2. Memory bias — Remembering a negative event in a more negative way that how it actually happened, or remembering negative events more quickly than benign events.
  3. Attentional bias — Paying more attention to negative social cues rather than benign cues.

Findings and Discussion Points:

The video below provides Dr. Rodgers's research findings on the relationship between cognitive bias and stuttering, as well as a summary of the most enlightening discussion points of the evening:

To watch more videos discussing current research finding in the field of stuttering, watch Dr. Chris Constantino's talk on depathologizing stuttering, Dr. Michael Boyle's talk on self-disclosure and Dr. Eric Jackson's talk on anticipation and stuttering.

List of References:

Lowe, R. et al. (2012). Avoidance of eye gaze by adults who stutter. Journal of Fluency Disorders, 37, 263-274.

Lowe, R. et al. (2016). Assessing attentional biases with stuttering. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 51(1), 84-94

Rodgers, N. H., Lau, J. F. Y., & Zebrowski, P. M. (2020). Attentional bias among adolescents who stutter: Evidence for a vigilance-avoidance effect. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 63(10), 3349-3363.


The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder.

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