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Journal Article

Failures of attention in selective listening

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Broadbent, D. E. (1952). Failures of attention in selective listening. Journal of Experimental Psychology, 44(6), 428-433. doi:10.1037/h0057163.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-002A-C251-D
Even when there is a nonauditory indication of the voice to be listened to, mistakes may appear which can be ascribed to failure to select the relevant from amongst the irrelevant information (failures of attention). Group I found it easier to listen steadily to one voice in a mixture rather than change from voice to voice in obedience to a visual cue. Group II was required to listen to two questions and then answer them before the cycle was repeated. The condition was harder, indicating that the difficulty of listening to two messages at once is not purely a matter of difficulty in hearing. Group III met the same conditions of Group II but were only expected to answer one of two questions. This alternate word condition was still more difficult, so that neglect of even irrelevant information was not perfect here.