What is it about?

Spontaneous speech is filled with disfluent interruptions such as fillers (uhs / ums), pauses, and repetitions. In our work, we show that such disfluencies improve memory for spoken language by orienting listeners' attention to what you're about to say.

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Why is it important?

While many consider disfluent speech "imperfect", our work shows that multiple types of disfluency confers lasting memory benefits. These findings have important implications for oral presentation, classroom instruction, and persuasion.


I hope this research will generate interest in studying language as it occurs naturally and inspire novel research questions in this area.

Evgeniia Diachek
Vanderbilt University

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This page is a summary of: The effect of disfluency on memory for what was said., Journal of Experimental Psychology Learning Memory and Cognition, July 2022, American Psychological Association (APA),
DOI: 10.1037/xlm0001156.
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