The purpose of the current study was to examine how observers perceive children with visibly present cochlear implants. Specifically, this study attempted to determine the degree to which a cochlear implant stigma or “Cochlear Implant Effect” exists. Participants in the study were randomly assigned to one of four experimental groups. Each experimental group was assigned to a different stimulus. The four stimuli involved photographs of either a male or female youth in one of the following ways: wearing a highly visible cochlear implant; or without a cochlear implant present. After viewing their assigned photographs, participants completed a questionnaire developed by the researcher that measured the Cochlear Implant Effect based on perceptions of the intelligence, achievements, personality, and physical appearance of the child in the photographs viewed. Results from the current study suggested no presence of a significant Cochlear Implant Effect or stigma. Additional research should be completed to further examine this topic of great import.


Goldberg, Don


Communication Studies


hearing aid effect, cochlear implant effect, cochlear implants, stigma

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



© Copyright 2014 Sarah G. Nation