Summary of 5 Ways to Listen Better

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The persistent din of modern life and technology has made listening an exhausting task. Thus, many people have simply tuned out, retreating into their own cocoons of sound via their headphones. Sound consultant Julian Treasure states his case for tuning back in: Become a better listener and you will connect and build understanding with those around you. Though his examples could use some fleshing out, getAbstract recommends Treasure’s brief lecture to anyone who feels modern life has impinged on their ability to listen well.

About the Speaker

Julian Treasure is chairman of The Sound Agency, which advises on the importance of environmental acoustics.



While people spend some 60% of their “communication time” listening, humans retain, on average, just 25% of what they hear. Yet even in a noisy environment, the brain can apply various techniques to extricate specific sounds from a cacophony. For example, by using “pattern recognition,” a person can isolate familiar sounds, such as the utterance of his or her name, in a noisy setting. By using “differencing,” the brain can block out static “pink noise” and focus on sounds that change. Individuals also unconsciously apply various “filters” – according to “culture, language, values,” and so on – which determine what they hear.

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