How ready is speech-to-text for psychological language research? Evaluating the validity of AI-generated English transcripts for analyzing free-spoken responses in younger and older adults

Valeria A. Pfeifer, Trish D. Chilton, Matthew D. Grilli, Matthias R. Mehl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

For the longest time, the gold standard in preparing spoken language corpora for text analysis in psychology was using human transcription. However, such standard comes at extensive cost, and creates barriers to quantitative spoken language analysis that recent advances in speech-to-text technology could address. The current study quantifies the accuracy of AI-generated transcripts compared to human-corrected transcripts across younger (n = 100) and older (n = 92) adults and two spoken language tasks. Further, it evaluates the validity of Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)-features extracted from these two kinds of transcripts, as well as transcripts specifically prepared for LIWC analyses via tagging. We find that overall, AI-generated transcripts are highly accurate with a word error rate of 2.50% to 3.36%, albeit being slightly less accurate for younger compared to older adults. LIWC features extracted from either transcripts are highly correlated, while the tagging procedure significantly alters filler word categories. Based on these results, automatic speech-to-text appears to be ready for psychological language research when using spoken language tasks in relatively quiet environments, unless filler words are of interest to researchers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBehavior Research Methods
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2024

Keywords

  • LIWC
  • Speech-to-TextAging
  • Text analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • General Psychology

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