This is “Barriers to reliable Listening”, section 5.2 native the book A inside wall on interaction Studies (v. 1.0). Because that details on the (including licensing), click here.

This book is licensed under a creative Commons by-nc-sa 3.0 license. View the license for much more details, yet that basically means you deserve to share this book as lengthy as you credit the writer (but check out below), don"t do money native it, and do make it available to everyone else under the exact same terms.

This contents was accessible as of December 29, 2012, and it was downloaded climate by Andy Schmitz in an initiative to preserve the availability of this book.

Normally, the author and publisher would certainly be attributed here. However, the publisher has asked because that the customary an imaginative Commons attribution to the original publisher, authors, title, and also book URI to be removed. Additionally, per the publisher"s request, their name has actually been eliminated in part passages. More information is easily accessible on this project"s attribution page.

For more information ~ above the source of this book, or why it is accessible for free, please check out the project"s home page. You deserve to browse or download additional books there. To download a .zip file containing this book to use offline, simply click here.

has this book helped you? think about passing that on:

Help an innovative Commons
an imaginative Commons supports free society from music come education. Your licenses helped make this book accessible to you.

Help a windy School helps human being like you assist teachers fund their classroom projects, native art supplies to publications to calculators.
Previous section
Table of components
following Section

5.2 barriers to reliable Listening

Learning Objectives

talk about some of the environmental and also physical barriers to effective listening. Explain how cognitive and an individual factors can present obstacles to reliable listening. Comment on common bad listening practices.

Barriers to reliable listening are existing at every stage of the listening process.Owen Hargie, Skilled Interpersonal Interaction: Research, Theory, and also Practice (London: Routledge, 2011), 200. In ~ the receiving stage, noise deserve to block or distort just arrived stimuli. At the interpreting stage, facility or abstract details may be challenging to relate to previous experiences, make it an overwhelming to reach understanding. In ~ the recalling stage, natural boundaries to ours memory and challenges come concentration deserve to interfere v remembering. At the examining stage, an individual biases and prejudices deserve to lead us to block human being out or assume we understand what they space going come say. In ~ the responding stage, a absence of paraphrasing and questioning an abilities can lead to misunderstanding. In the adhering to section, us will explore how environmental and physical factors, cognitive and an individual factors, and also bad listening techniques present obstacles to effective listening.

You are watching: Three barriers that prevent effective listening

Environmental and Physical obstacles to Listening

Environmental components such as lighting, temperature, and also furniture affect our capacity to listen. A room the is too dark deserve to make us sleepy, just as a room that is too warm or cool have the right to raise awareness of our physical discomfort to a suggest that that is distracting. Part seating kinds facilitate listening, if others separate people. In general, hearne is easier when listeners can make direct eye call with and also are in close physics proximity to a speaker. You may recall from thing 4 "Nonverbal Communication" the when team members are permitted to pick a leader, castle often choose the human who is sit at the facility or head that the table.Peter A. Andersen, Nonverbal Communication: Forms and also Functions (Mountain View, CA: Mayfield, 1999), 57–58. Even though the human may not have demonstrated any type of leadership abilities, human being subconsciously gravitate toward speakers that room nonverbally accessible. The capability to efficiently see and also hear a person increases people’s confidence in their abilities to receive and procedure information. Eye contact and also physical proximity can still be influenced by noise. As we learned in thing 1 "Introduction to communication Studies", environmental noises such together a whirring wait conditioner, barking dogs, or a ringing fire alarm deserve to obviously interfere v listening in spite of direct currently of sight and also well-placed furniture.

Physiological noise, like environmental noise, deserve to interfere with our capability to process incoming information. This is thought about a physical barrier to effective listening due to the fact that it emanates from our physical body. Physiological noiseNoise stemming from a physical illness, injury, or bodily stress. Is noise stemming native a physical illness, injury, or bodily stress. Ailments such together a cold, a broken leg, a headache, or a poison ivy outbreak can variety from annoying to unbearably painful and influence our listening relative to your intensity. Another form of noise, psychological noise, bridges physical and cognitive barriers to effective listening. Emotional noiseNoise stemming indigenous our psychological states, including moods and level the arousal, that have the right to impede listening., or noise stemming indigenous our mental states consisting of moods and level the arousal, have the right to facilitate or impede listening. Any kind of mood or state the arousal, confident or negative, that is as well far over or listed below our continual baseline create a barrier to blog post reception and also processing. The typically positive emotional state of being in love deserve to be simply as much of a barrier as feeling hatred. Excited arousal can also distract as lot as anxious arousal. Stress about an upcoming occasions ranging from shedding a job, to having actually surgery, come wondering around what come eat because that lunch deserve to overshadow just arrive messages. While we will discover cognitive obstacles to reliable listening more in the next section, emotional noise is pertinent here offered that the body and also mind room not fully separate. In fact, lock can connect in methods that additional interfere through listening. Fatigue, because that example, is commonly a mix of psychological and physiological stresses that manifests as stress and anxiety (psychological noise) and weakness, sleepiness, and tiredness (physiological noise). Additionally, psychological anxiety (psychological noise) can additionally manifest chin in our bodies v trembling, sweating, blushing, or also breaking the end in rash (physiological noise).

Cognitive and an individual Barriers to Listening

Aside from the barriers to effective listening that may be existing in the environment or emanate from our bodies, cognitive limits, a absence of hearne preparation, difficult or disorganized messages, and prejudices deserve to interfere v listening. Whether you speak to it multitasking, daydreaming, glazing over, or drifting off, us all cognitively procedure other points while receiving messages. If you think of her listening mind as a wall surface of ten televisions, girlfriend may notice that in some instances five of the ten televisions space tuned right into one channel. If that one channel is a class being provided by her professor, then you are exerting about fifty percent of your cognitive handling abilities on one message. In an additional situation, all ten televisions might be on different channels. The reality that we have the ability to process more than one point at a time uses some advantages and disadvantages. However unless we can better understand exactly how our cognitive capacities and an individual preferences impact our listening, we are likely to experience more barriers than benefits.

Difference between Speech and Thought Rate

Our ability to process much more information than what comes from one speak or resource creates a obstacle to effective listening. While human being speak in ~ a price of 125 to 175 words per minute, us can process between 400 and 800 words per minute.Owen Hargie, Skilled Interpersonal Interaction: Research, Theory, and also Practice (London: Routledge, 2011), 195. This gap between speech rate and also thought rate offers us an opportunity to side-process any number of thoughts that have the right to be distracting native a more important message. Because of this gap, the is difficult to give one blog post our “undivided attention,” but we can occupy other networks in our minds with thoughts concerned the main message. For example, using several of your extra cognitive handling abilities come repeat, rephrase, or reorganize messages comes from one source allows girlfriend to use that extra capacity in a means that reinforces the major message.

The difference between speech and thought rate connects to personal barriers come listening, as personal concerns are frequently the focus of completing thoughts that can take us away from listening and challenge our ability to concentration on others’ messages. 2 common barriers to concentration room self-centeredness and also lack of motivation.Judi Brownell, “Listening Environment: A Perspective,” in Perspectives on Listening, eds. Andrew D. Wolvin and also Carolyn Gwynn Coakley (Norwood, NJ: Alex posting Corporation, 1993), 245. Because that example, once our self-consciousness is raised, we may be also busy thinking around how us look, just how we’re sitting, or what rather think of united state to be attentive come an incoming message. Additionally, we are often challenged when presented v messages the we perform not find personally relevant. In general, us employ selective attentionOur tendency to pay attention to the messages that advantage us in some means and filter rather out., which describes our propensity to pay fist to the message that advantage us in some means and filter rather out. Therefore the student that is check his or she Twitter feed during class may unexpectedly switch his or she attention ago to the previously ignored professor when the following words space spoken: “This will certainly be vital for the exam.”


Drifting fist is a common obstacle to listening. Try to find an individual relevance in the article to assist maintain concentration.

Another common barrier to reliable listening the stems from the speech and also thought rate divide is response preparation. Solution preparationOur tendency to rehearse what we room going come say following while a speaker is tho talking. Refers to our propensity to practice what we room going to say following while a speaker is tho talking. Rehearsal that what we will certainly say when a speaker’s turn is over is an essential part the the listening procedure that bring away place in between the recalling and evaluation and/or the evaluation and responding stage. Rehearsal i do not care problematic when response preparation begins as who is receiving a message and hasn’t had time to interact in translate or recall. In this sense, we room listening v the goal of responding instead of v the score of understanding, which deserve to lead us to miss essential information that might influence our response.

“Getting Plugged In”

Technology, Multitasking, and Listening

Do you choose to listen to music when you carry out homework? carry out you clean your apartment while talking to your mommy on the phone? execute you think students have to be permitted to use laptops in every college classrooms? your answers to these questions will allude to your choices for multitasking. If you answered “yes” to most of them, climate you are in line v the basic practices of the “net generation” the digital natives because that whom multitasking, especially with various develops of media, is a method of life. Multitasking is a concept that has actually been about for a while and emerged along with the enhancing expectation the we will certainly fill multiple function demands transparent the day. Multitasking have the right to be pretty straightforward and also beneficial—for example, if us listen to motivating music while working out. However multitasking can be an extremely inefficient, especially when one or an ext of ours concurrent jobs are complicated or unfamiliar come us.Fleura Bardhi, Andres J. Rohm, and also Fareena Sultan, “Tuning in and also Tuning out: Media Multitasking among Young Consumers,” Journal of consumer Behaviour 9 (2010): 318.

Media multitasking specifically describes the use of multiple forms of media in ~ the exact same time, and it have the right to have hopeful and an unfavorable effects top top listening.Fleura Bardhi, Andres J. Rohm, and also Fareena Sultan, “Tuning in and also Tuning out: Media Multitasking amongst Young Consumers,” Journal of customer Behaviour 9 (2010): 322. The an unfavorable effects of media multitasking have received much attention in current years, as world question the diminish attention expectancy within ours society. Media multitasking may promote inefficiency, due to the fact that it deserve to lead come distractions and plays a prominent role for numerous in procrastination. The numerous alternatives for media engagement the we have can also lead to a feeling of chaos together our attention is pulled in multiple directions, creating a general sense that disorder. And many of us feel a sense of enslavement once we engage in media multitasking, as we feel favor we can’t live without certain an individual media outlets.

Media multitasking can also give people a feeling of control, as they use multiple innovations to access various clues of details to deal with a problem or complete a task. An employee may be able to use she iPad come look up details needed to address a worry raised throughout a business meeting. She might then e-mail that connect to the presenter, who can share it with the room v his laptop and also a LCD projector. Media multitasking can likewise increase efficiency, as people can lug out tasks faster. The links to videos and also online write-ups that I’ve consisted of in this textbook enable readers like you to quickly accessibility additional information about a specific subject come prepare because that a presentation or finish a record assignment. Media multitasking can likewise increase engagement. Next from just reading material in a textbook, students have the right to now accessibility information with an author’s blog or Twitter account.

See more: What Age Can You Get An Apartment In Texas ? When Can I Get My Own Apartment

Media multitasking can create an suffer that feels productive, but is it really? What room the aftermath of our media- and technology-saturated world? Although countless of us favor to think that we’re an excellent multitaskers, part research shows otherwise. For example, college student laptop use during course has been linked to lower scholastic performance.Carrie B. Fried, “In-Class Laptop Use and also Its effects on student Learning,” Computers and also Education 50 (2008): 906–14. This is since media multitasking has the potential to interfere with listening in ~ multiple stages of the process. The study showed that laptop use interfered through receiving, together students utilizing them reported the they paid much less attention to the course lectures. This is due to the fact that students provided the laptops for purposes various other than acquisition notes or exploring class content. That the students utilizing laptops, 81 percent checked e-mail throughout lectures, 68 percent used instant messaging, and 43 percent surfed the web. Students making use of laptops also had difficulty with the interpretation phase of listening, as they uncovered less clarity in the components of the lecture lock heard and did not know the course product as much as students that didn’t use a laptop. The difficulties with receiving and also interpreting clearly create problems with recall that deserve to lead come lower scholastic performance in the class. Laptop use additionally negatively affected the hear abilities of student not making use of laptops. These students reported that they were distracted, as their attention was attracted to the laptop display screens of other students.

What are some usual ways the you engage in media multitasking? What space some optimistic and an adverse consequences of her media multitasking? What strategies do you or might you usage to assist minimize the negative effects that media multitasking? need to laptops, smartphones, and also other media tools be used by students during college classes? Why or why not? What restrictions or guidelines because that use could instructors administer that would certainly capitalize top top the presence of such media to improve student finding out and assist minimize distractions?