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Thread: Selective Listening

  1. #1

    Question Selective Listening

    There is a cognitive process that my COM100 class curriculum refers to as "Selective Listening", which refers to the habit in which a person subconsciously blots out audible noises, particularly voices. If you have ever spaced-out during a monotonous lecture or found yourself just nodding your head during a one-on-one conversation, you have experienced this. I have theorized about the causation behind this process; and I suggest the following:

    -Those who use Ne are particularly susceptible to this - possibly Fi or Ti, as these are introverted judging functions, and thus filter out external information.

    -This is an adaptive mechanism that occurs as a result of excess or undesired perceptions.

    -Might be associated with Attention Deficit Disorder.

    Everything above is quite mutable and yes, I am aware that other types experience selective listening. My opinions are utterly subjective. blee dee bla dee bloo.

    My primary concern is whether too much is healthy for a learning individual or not; and I have become quite paranoid that perhaps it forces a person into ignorance. (Yes, this opinion is rooted in myself).

    EDIT: Of course this is a healthy process, but how does one avoid becoming completely disclosed from external noises? Exercises? Etc?

  2. #2
    Junior Member Array A-I's Avatar
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    Dec 2009


    Interesting topic. I'm pretty sure most people do this - probably more than we think. Maybe some people just notice it easier than others. I mean, if you're doing it uncounsciously you shouldn't even notice you blocked it out right. Could be just boredom.

    I tend to do it a lot when people blabber on about pointless stuff that doesn't trigger any reaction in me or have any interest. It's like someone buzzing in your ear. Sometimes I can reflect on this situation and think it's sort of uncalled for but when you get that feeling that people are just being so damn generic about their problems it's easy to drift away and shut it out for me at least.

    I don't know if some personality types are more susceptible to it? Maybe different people just react differently and everyone does it in 1 way or another?

    In other words, you had at me at there is.
    Do What
    Thou Wilt

  3. #3
    Junior Member Array Litmus's Avatar
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    Jan 2010


    Hmm, interestingly, while I can relate to instances of 'zoning out' or just plain 'daydreaming', I can never quite say I recall 'muting' a voice. A speaking voice, to be precise. I mean, I can relate to muting background noise and minor audible distractions (if they aren't consciously considered, they're 'muted' for all intents and purposes)...hmm...but people and voices, they remain. Even when I don't consciously consider their meaning, the perception of hearing them remains.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Array
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    Apr 2009


    My sister (ESTJ) and father (ISTJ) do this all the time, it can be quite annoying

    I feel that paying attention at all times is one of my biggest strengths

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