Types of listening
Here are six types of listening, starting with basic discrimination of sounds and ending in deepcommunication. Discriminative listening
Discriminative listening is the most basic type of listening, whereby the difference between difference soundsis identified. If you cannot hear differences, then you cannot make sense of the meaning that is expressed bysuch differences. We learn to discriminate between sounds within our own language early, and later areunable to discriminate between the phonemes of other languages. This is one reason why a person from onecountry finds it difficult to speak another language perfectly, as they are unable distinguish the subtle soundsthat are required in that language.Likewise, a person who cannot hear the subtleties of emotional variation in another person's voice will be lesslikely to be able to discern the emotions the other person is experiencing.Listening is a visual as well as auditory act, as we communicate much throughbody language. We thus alsoneed to be able to discriminate between muscle and skeletal movements that signify different meanings. Biased listening
Biased listening happens when the person hears only what they want to hear, typically misinterpreting whatthe other person says based on thestereotypesand other biases that they have. Such biased listening isoften very evaluative in nature. Evaluative listening
In evaluative listening, or
, we make judgments about what the other person is saying. Weseek to assess the truth of what is being said. We also judge what they say against ourvalues, assessingthem as good or bad, worthy or unworthy.Evaluative listening is particularly pertinent when the other person is trying to persuade us, perhaps tochange our behavior and maybe even to change ourbeliefs. Within this, we also discriminate betweensubtleties of language and comprehend the inner meaning of what is said. Typically also we weigh up the prosand cons of an argument,...
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