Date of Award

Fall 2004

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Human Factors & Systems


Human Factors and Systems

Committee Chair

Christina Frederick-Recascino, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth L.Blickensderfer, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Marvin Smith, Ph.D.


The purpose of this study was to analyze the performance effects of gender and regional dialect on air traffic control statement recall. Sixty-one student volunteers participated in the experiment. Thirty-one participants held a pilot’s license and 30 participants had no flight experience. Each participant listened to one CD with 60 ATC statements each representing a male and female voice and New England, Southern, and General American dialect. Participants were asked to recall exactly what they heard. If the participant could not understand what they heard, they requested a repeat. The participant’s performance was recorded to CD and analyzed. Demographic questionnaires and dialect familiarity ratings were completed and analyzed.

Results showed that the best performance was with the male voice compared to the female voice. Results also showed that greater familiarity with a regional dialect will result in better performance when hearing that dialect. Although birth region was not found to have an impact on regional dialect comprehension, the regional dialect a person speaks in helps in comprehension among that dialect. Results also indicate that experience impacts dialect comprehension as the pilot group performed better across all variables than did the novice group.