Essay, 5 pages (1300 words)

Auditory stimuli and dichotic listening essay sample


There are many different people in this world. Each individual has a different method for processing auditory information. This paper will break down the processing methods of the team members of Learning Team D as a whole. A consensus was met among the team due to a lot of similarities amongst the members of the team.

Open Dialogue

Paying attention to processing auditory information gives individuals the ability to be aware of their surrounding and personal task. Each teammate’s reaction to auditory stimuli depends on environmental factors such as location, background noise or auditory interruptions. The personal factors that cause channels to change or switch gears are fatigue, medical problems, and hearing loss. Broadbent compares the mind to a radio because it receives many channels at once. Human attention is limited, and listening to two sounds at once will decrease the perception of what is being heard. An individual has to choose whom they will talk with, whether it is everyone in a crowd or just one person. Teammate’s reaction to auditory stimuli varies because people are different and deal with situations depending on prior experiences, education, background, and etc.

One teammate is top down influenced, whereas she tunes out the environment or surrounding noises and completes her task. She can listen to one person and completely tune out what is going on around her even if her name is being called. Another teammate is influenced by bottom up concept, meaning that this individual might be great at conversations, but tends to get bored quickly and then pays attention to the crowd instead. Paying attention to the crowd and analyzing their behavior will register in short-term memory. Just as attention is limited due to the numerous actions going on in a crowd, so is the space in the memory. As new information is viewed the old is bumped out. It is agreed upon by the team that as the individual speaking continues to talk and the listener becomes bored the mind begins to wonders. The individual is ignored and the information being said by them only enters the sensory perception.

Experiences and Comfort levels

The view point of dichotic listening and the cocktail party phenomenon can be interpreted by different viewpoints such as the listeners, or the psychological perspective. In this case, the view point comes from the individual opinions of each team member. Each member of the team expressed their experiences and comfort levels of dichotic listening, or the ‘ cocktail party’ phenomenon. When comparing the similarities that each team member had, the majority of the group suggested that their dichotic listening skills are not as high as they would like but still multi listen at some point and time. Many of the team members have indicated that dealing with noises in the background at work seems to be a common occurrence for each of them. Of course this comes down to each person’s individual outlook on the cocktail party phenomenon, but it is important to learn what a cocktail party phenomenon is.

The cocktail party phenomenon pertains to a person’s ability to listen to one conversation while several conversations or background noises are present. It is believed that a person can perform this function because of the human speech characteristics such as auditory system, or high levels perceptual and language processing (Kowalski & Westen, 2005). Of course, this ability is divided, some of the team members indicate that they can perform this skill without any problems and the other team members indicated that they have a hard time performing this skill. Therefore, the cocktail party phenomenon has a negative impact on individual’s conversation abilities. This is due to not being able to maintain a 100 percent attention of each member involved in a conversation.

Dividing attention

When it comes to dividing attention, it seems that the members of the group agree that working in a team is beneficial as it allows the work to be broken down so that there is less for each person to do. When you think of dividing attention as part of the “ cocktail party phenomenon,” however, working alone keeps your attention solely on what you are doing. Working with a team requires one to focus on multiple things or ideas at once. (Kowalski & Westen, 2005)As a working adult, there is not always enough time to do all that there is to do on your own. By working in a team, you can take a portion of the whole and come together with a final product. It also allows for each individual to learn more about each other, on both a personal and student level. Each person has their own comfort zone, so when you work with others, you can get different opinions and ideas.

The group environment provides a means of understanding other people’s outlook on different situations. Benefits also include interacting with others to enhance and reinforce communication skills. Having group discussions is a major benefit as it opens your mind to other ideas. On the opposing side, the group environment is not always the best way. Each person may feel that they can complete a task much easier and faster if they do it themselves. Working interdependently can be difficult for some people but seemingly effortless for others. If one person does not do their part, it causes conflict in the team. Conflict in a team can be devastating, if not addressed properly.

Sensation, Perception, and Attention

There are some ground rules that must be followed when speaking in our team environment. While some of these rules may be obvious, there are others that may not be. One of these rules would be proper use of punctuation. A person that spends some time online will realize what different types of punctuation mean. A punctuation mark used constantly can mean the person is upset. This doesn’t have to be the case but when the only form of communication is through typing, some people understand it to mean this. A person that uses all capital letters throughout the course of their conversation is understood to be yelling. This typically is not the case but can be understood to mean this. A recommendation in this particular area would be to make sure one is using proper punctuation, grammar, and capitalization during the course of all posts. This way we are able to keep our posts proper.

Another area to make sure our team stays a proper learning environment is to respect each other. We do not have to agree about everything but we do need to be mindful of each other. We need to recognize each other for the work we do and I believe we have. We talk to each other about work that needs to be completed and changes that we are looking to make in the submitted parts of the paper. In this manner, we are only looking to make the final project as good as it can be.

The last area that we can focus on to make our team as successful as possible is keeping everyone involved. I feel our team has done an excellent job with making sure we have deadlines assigned and these are met in order to give ourselves time to review the final project. This way we can all look at the paper to catch mistakes the spellchecker may not. This can be the case with the way some words are used.


Everyone is different, so communication among a team is very important. If everyone on the team pays attention to the surrounding environment and all of the events going on around them the Team will have better success working together. Diffusing emotion and implementing a positive resolution to conflict will ultimately result in synergy, cohesion and increase the overall productivity of the team. Communication is vital, and when there is a breakdown, it is hard to get back together.


Kowalski, Robin & Westen, Drew (2005) _Psychology_ John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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