Voices in Your Head: Wearing Headphones Changes Listening

FRIDAY, February 25, 2022 (HealthDay News). Headphones have a far greater impact on listeners than external speakers because they put voices “inside your head,” a new study explains.

“Headphones produce a phenomenon called head localization, which makes the speaker sound like it’s in your head,” said study co-author On Amir, professor of marketing at the University of California, San Diego.

“Consequently, listeners perceive communicators as more intimate, both physically and socially. As a result, listeners perceive the communicator as warmer, they feel and behave towards them more empathetically, and they are more easily persuaded,” Amir explained in a University News release.

The findings could have serious implications for training programs, telecommuting, and advertising, the researchers said.

In a series of experiments and surveys involving more than 4,000 people, the researchers found that headphones have a much stronger effect than external speakers on the perception, judgment, and behavior of listeners.

That results – planned publication in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes — could leave a mark in a number of areas, including remote work and on-the-job training, the researchers suggested.

“Organizations may want to consider this research when designing their training or webinars,” said study author Juliana Schroeder, associate professor of management at the University of California, Berkeley. “For example, managers can encourage employees to listen to safety training or webinars on headphones, which can change their attitudes and behaviors more effectively than listening through speakers.” Companies can send headphones to employees to encourage them to use them on the phone, Amir said, which could improve collaboration, especially in the age of remote work.

Headphones This could also help build a more loyal and engaged audience for on-air personalities, the researchers say.

“Clearly, our research shows that influencers, bloggers, and podcasters want to make sure people listen with headphones because it creates attachment,” Amir said. “Our study suggests that their judgments, decisions, and behaviors are influenced not only by what or who people hear, but also by how they hear the message.”

More information

For tips on safe headphone use, visit Harvard Health.

SOURCE: UC San Diego press release February 23, 2022


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