Discuss Advantages and Disadvantages of Top-Down Processes in Speech Comprehension and Refer to Relevant Cognitive Research in Your Answer.

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Discuss advantages and disadvantages of top-down processes in speech comprehension and refer to relevant cognitive research in your answer.

The purpose of this essay is to discuss both the advantages and disadvantages of top-down processes in speech comprehension, with supporting evidence for both arguments being shown through applicable cognitive research. The first section of this essay will briefly look at what is meant by top-down processing and how this is applied to speech comprehension. The second section will cover the advantages of using top-down processes and will present supporting research, on the benefits of employing this approach. Factors such as the listening environment, education and age will be looked at in some detail in relation to speech comprehension and top-down processes. Following on from this, the disadvantages of top-down processes will be presented in the third area of this essay. The concluding section will look at how both top-down and bottom-up processes can work together for optimal speech comprehension and final conclusions will also be presented. Speech comprehension is how we make sense of and interpret the messages that we hear. This can be through dialogue in face to face interactions, but it is very often communicated through mobile telephone conversations, the television, the computer, the radio and through announcement tannoys at the tube station and in other such public places. Speech is all around us and requires us to make sense of the things that we hear. It is largely accepted that top-down processes are triggered in speech comprehension (Zekveld, Heslenfeld, Festen & Schoonhoven 2006). Top-down processing describes how we interpret meaning when there is incomplete information presented to us. When we listen to speech there are sometimes words, phrases…...

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