Full text available using this link: Listening Research
Listening is a multidimensional construct, and its processes and effects have been
studied by various disciplines. One challenge to studying listening is that the processes
involved in listening are primarily cognitive, yet listening is perceived behaviorally (L.
Janusik, 2007; Witkin, 1990). This fact has caused many to study cognition and behavior
associated with listening as separate phenomena. Indeed, integrative research in
listening is rare (see Bodie, Worthington, Imhof, & Cooper, in press). Another challenge
facing future theorizing about listening is that work relevant to building general models
of listening is spread out among several discipline-specific literatures. Although
reviews of this literature exist (Bodie et al., in press; Wolvin, in press; Wolvin, Halone,
& Coakley, 1999), the assumptions underlying different theoretical perspectives are
often obfuscated or ignored. In order to advance (and possibly unify) our field we need
to develop and integrate perspectives that allow for a fuller investigation of listening
and its importance to everyday human interaction.
This white paper outlines four initiatives and their underlying research questions that
serve to advance the study and theorizing of listening. We hope the contents of this
document will strike a chord in others so that collective work toward advancing our
knowledge of listening can be accomplished. In service of this goal, the document
begins by providing a background of two meetings, both of which focused on honing
what needs to be known about listening to develop solid listening theory. After this
background is provided, the initiatives and research questions are explored.