ISCA Archive Interspeech 2022
ISCA Archive Interspeech 2022

Factors affecting the percept of Yanny v. Laurel (or mixed): Insights from a large-scale study on Swiss German listeners

Adrian Leemann, Péter Jeszenszky, Carina Steiner, Corinne Lanthemann

In May 2018, Yanny v. Laurel went viral: when listening to the same audio clip, some people claimed to hear only Yanny, others insisted it must be Laurel, and some had a mixed percept. Phoneticians have identified the acoustic features which caused this perceptual ambiguity, but we still know little about the factors affecting individuals' perception of the illusion. We conducted a controlled study with 974 Swiss German listeners, balanced for age, gender, and regional origin. Overall, nearly two thirds heard Yanny, one quarter Laurel, and about 12% had a mixed percept. We found age, gender, and electronic device to play a significant role: younger, female, and laptop-using participants demonstrated higher proportions of Yanny responses. These findings contribute to the growing body of research on polyperceivable words.


doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2022-10048

Cite as: Leemann, A., Jeszenszky, P., Steiner, C., Lanthemann, C. (2022) Factors affecting the percept of Yanny v. Laurel (or mixed): Insights from a large-scale study on Swiss German listeners. Proc. Interspeech 2022, 1851-1855, doi: 10.21437/Interspeech.2022-10048

@inproceedings{leemann22_interspeech,
  author={Adrian Leemann and Péter Jeszenszky and Carina Steiner and Corinne Lanthemann},
  title={{Factors affecting the percept of Yanny v. Laurel (or mixed): Insights from a large-scale study on Swiss German listeners}},
  year=2022,
  booktitle={Proc. Interspeech 2022},
  pages={1851--1855},
  doi={10.21437/Interspeech.2022-10048},
  issn={2958-1796}
}