Listening, An Experimental Psychologist Essay

Listening, An Experimental Psychologist Essay

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When I was in the military, an important part of my job was to listen to radio communications and be aware of any other communication going on in the office. At first, this task was stressful but with time and practice my auditory attention was responding more efficiently. At that time I did not know that some researchers use a similar task called Dichotic Listening Task to conduct research and support their theories. In 1958, Donald Broadbent, an experimental psychologist, used Dichotic Listening Task and the results of his experiment led him to create the filter model of attention. Essentially, the task consists of presenting different stimuli to each ear. First, the participant’s task is to focus his attention to one ear, called the attended ear. Second, the participant conducts something called shadowing, during which the participant repeats the words out loud. Third, the participant responses questions about the unattended ear. Furthermore, many variant Dichotic Listening Tasks are being used during the last years by many researchers to study auditory attention in depth.
Some researches used a variant of the Dichotic Listening Task to replicate past experiments. A great example of that is Julien Donnot et al. (2014) that conducted the experiment “Children below 9 years use both verbal cues and lateralized cues to orient their attention in an emotional dichotic listening task” to study selective attention in children between 7 to 8. The researches chose to study 103 children with no hearing problems between seven and twelve years of age. The children were separated into three groups; 7-8 years old, 9-10 years old and 11-12 years old. Then, the children were presented with the emotional Dichotic Listening Task that consists of...


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...nt their auditory attention to the left ear without having any instruction to report to the left ear. In other words, the auditory spatial attention between the left ear and right ear can be modulated by top-down cognitive training.
Finally, many variant Dichotic Listening Tasks are being used by many researches to study auditory attention. Some new findings in the last years are that children between 7 to 8 are able to orient their attention in an emotional dichotic task, right-handed people are more likely to have left ear advantage in emotional auditory attention and the auditory spatial attention between the left ear and right ear can be modulated by top-down cognitive training. With this in mind, Dichotic Listening Task is a powerful tool that can be use in multiple cognitive studies by many researches or psychology student because it is simple and effective.

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