Kinds of Listening

Experts use various, overlapping descriptions for the many kinds of listening:

Appreciative—listening for aesthetic enjoyment of sound.

Active—listening as a willing act of attending to and interpreting with an open mind the words and feelings a speaker expresses.

Comprehensive—listening to learn.

Critical—listening in order to make decisions such as when one listens to a political debate.

Defensive—listening to discover arguments for oneself and against a speaker.

Dichotic—listening to two things at once.

Discriminative—listening in order to distinguish the significance of one sound from another.

Empathic/Empathetic—listening to put yourself in another person's place to understand, but not necessarily agree with what's being ...

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