Listening And Perception

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Experimental Research

This is a research method that is practical, you experiment, test or demonstrate in this research method, it’s highly diligent and a careful method of research, researchers can in fact do their tests in the real world or in laboratories.

This research method is responsible for multiple factors in any given situation, we basically compare two things and by evaluating tasks given to them to help us make a better decision, for example, If we want to find out If students study better with music or not we can compare student A and student B by making student A study for a test with no music playing and we can make student B study with music playing.

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We can then evaluate these students by making them write a short test to see which student got more marks, this would let us know whether students perform/study better with or without music playing in the background.

This type of research allows one to try out your plan in a specific environment before you take it to the real world, irrelevant experiments should be avoided.

Historical Research

Historical research is concerned with studying, learning, explaining & doing research on people or events that happened in the past, we can get this information from the internet, books, journals or newspapers. We can also visit historical sites or museums so that we can gather historical information.

An example of historical research would be a scientist that wants to find out about the history of dinosaurs, this scientist can visit a dinosaur museum so that he/she can study about the history of dinosaurs, A natural museum will be the scientists source of information in this scenario because the museum will be the place that will have collections of past & present historical records of animals. Historical information has two main categories the first one is primary information, this is the information that is original and this kind of information is not easy to find because there may be no witnesses or the evidence could have been destroyed, primary information can also be people who were there when a certain incident occurred.

For example: A boy who witnessed his father being murdered during a house robbery.

The second type of historical information is called secondary information, secondary information is information that is delivered by someone that is not directly involved with the information, and an example would be a person that is writing about a past event that he wasn’t part of. Some historical information may not be fully true because the author can write a book from one point of view, in a biased way, truthfulness or authenticity of historical information may need to be verified.

Survey Research

This type of research involves collecting information from a normally large group of people in order to receive insight on a certain topic. Surveys use to be done on a paper in the past but there are many ways of sending surveys these days, an example would be online surveys, these can be received by the participant in many ways.

One of the attractive ways to make sure that people participate in your surveys is by offering them money so that they can complete the survey. We can come across surveys on some websites that offer us money so that we can do their surveys, this is one of the best ways that a company can collect information, participants are usually interested in doing these surveys because they know that they will be compensated for their work.

Surveys are usually sent to a defined market, a prospect might be scrolling down an online retailer and they might click on a link that will direct them to a survey that is from a company that is also in the retail industry, this prospect is more likely to take part in the survey because it aligns to what they were browsing on the online retailer website.

A company that wants to find out if employees are happy with the new infrastructure that was recently installed at the company could ask employees to take part in a questionnaire, this questionnaire will have questions where you can rate something depending on your satisfaction. Employees would use a rating system to answer the questions in the questionnaires.

Content Analysis

Content analysis is a measurable process that examines communicative processes. We can also say that content analysis is a way that a researcher can measure for example the amount of propaganda that is found in a part of mass communication medium such as an online news website like news24.

Another example of this method is: looking at the television for a repetition of a specific idea that would prove that there is indeed misinformation on a specific channel on the television.

Another good example that we could use is the Springboks. In this example we would have to determine whether black players in the springbok team are selected often or not to play. To get our result we would have to watch many springbok rugby games to determine if black players are selected less often than white players in the starting line-ups

Field Research

Field research is a method of collecting information that aims to make an observation and understand people in their natural setting where the occurrence happens.

Field research allows the researcher to look at things from a different point of view, it allows the researcher to get in-depth information and experiences about the people that the researcher is doing the field research on.

For example, a high school principal observing the behavior of students when they are inside a classroom, the principal could observe the students during a lecture so that he can find out what triggers the students to misbehave.

Field research is done in many ways, some of them are participant and direct observation field research methods. Direct observation is done in a way that requires the researcher to actually be present while the event happens and participant observation requires the researcher to actually be involved in the event or process as a participant.


The first point of the perception process is selection, when we receive new information it needs to be processed, it’s not possible to process all of the information that our brain receives.

The brain focuses on and processes the most important information, information that can fulfill our needs or information that can help us in certain situations, information that can be of value to us.

We actually do take in information through all five of our senses but there’s too much information so our brain has difficulty processing it all, what goes through the perception process depends on a few aspects.

The information that’s can make us take notice can be non-realistic for example, an idea or a thought, and the information that can make us take notice can be real for example, a car, a phone or a fridge.

A good example could be an umbrella that you have in your bag whilst walking, you can use this umbrella if it starts to rain, and another example is your phone that you could use to call somebody should there be a need or an emergency.

Selective attention is important because it helps us to focus on things that will help us, for example, if a lecturer is addressing the class about possible test topics you will listen to everything that the lecturer is saying and you will write down the test topics and important points that can help you when you are studying and preparing for your test.


In this stage we put information into groups and we organize information that we become aware of because of the activities of learning, studying and remembering.

The brain is an incredibly special organ of the nervous system, there is a section of the brain that does something amazing.

The fusiform face area is a very special part of the brain, this section of the brain is very important because this part of the brain groups people and acknowledges people. There are many ways that we can sort things into certain forms or models, one way by which we can do this is by the using proximity/closeness.

Proximity basically means closeness in different things like time or space.

For example, if people are waiting outside a night for entrance the bouncer and the person who is handing out the tickets might assume that the people that standing closest to each other are a group and that they came together, this type of proximity always occurs, even in malls, at checkouts, at the cinema, it happens in places where people have to be close to each other.

Another way to sort information into certain forms or patterns is by using similarity.

Similarity basically means that something has similarity with another thing, it’s when two things have some sort of resemblance.

For example, a person might think that two cups are the same or have the same liquid in them if they are filled up with a liquid that is identical in color. One cup might have apple juice and the other cup might have white wine, so if you look at these two cups they will be similar in color, this would automatically make us think that both these cups have the same liquid/juice in them.

Another example could be that a person might think that two people are related if those two people are wearing the same clothes and walking together.

We also sort out information by based on difference, for example, if there are 4 books and 1 phone, we automatically think that the phone does not belong in that group of books.


When we have attained and put information into categories, we interpret that information in a way that will make sense to us or we explain the meaning of something in a way that we will understand it, this is the third stage of the perception process.

For example, we might see a dog bark at a stranger and we might interpret that by thinking that the dog sensed fear or the dog sensed trouble so that’s why the dog barked at the stranger.

Sometimes people interpret things in different ways because of their beliefs, past experiences, religion & their values, for example, a child might think that a stranger that gives them sweets is a good person and a parent might think that a stranger that gives their child a sweet is up to no good, they might see them as a threat.

Comprehensive Listening

This type of listening is when the individual that is the listener has to listen and understand the ideas and the message that is being delivered and also interpret it in a way that will be understood.

You have to listen and understand what is being said, this type of listening may also require you to take part in the process which makes it a harder type of listening. Your language skills need to be satisfactory or good, this will go a long way because you will be able to understand the message even if the language level is a little bit difficult, you might have a problem understanding the message if your language skills are not good enough.

Things like the tone & body language of the person delivering the message can affect how a listener interprets the message that is being communicated.

Another problem from this type of listening is that two individuals might have a different understanding of the message that is being communicated.

For example, Student A might interpret the message that is being communicated by the lecturer in a different way than what Student B interpreted the message as.

A good example of comprehensive listening is, a football coach doing & explaining some soccer drills to his team, the soccer players are expected to listen to the coach and they are also expected to do the soccer drills, this makes this process active.

Appreciative Listening

Appreciative listening is when a listener listens to something that they will appreciate, something that a listener will enjoy, something that will fulfill the listener’s needs.

A good example of this type of music is when a listener listens to a music mix, this mix will be listened by the listener for enjoyment, the listener will connect with that music mix on a deeper level and the listener will appreciate that mix, past experiences might make that music mix more enjoyable to the listener, the listener will connect more with the mix if a classic song that he remembers from his past is played in the mix.

Another example of appreciative listening could be a comedy show, people go to comedy show for enjoyment, when a comedian tells a joke and the crowd laughs, it shows that the crowd are listening and appreciating the joke.

Appreciative listening is connected to our perceptions because if a person perceives soccer as being a great sport, they will appreciate and enjoy watching a soccer match because their perception of it is good.

Critical Listening

Critical listening is when the listener examines, evaluates and listens carefully to what the speaker is saying and makes a decision on whether the message is important or valid, this is why critical listening is important, it is undoubtedly the core of real learning and understanding.

Critical listening can help us to solve problems and come up with resolution swiftly, this is possible because when we examine, evaluate & understand a message we can give a response quicker or we can take action quickly.

Critical listening requires the listener to actually listen to everything that is being said in the message so that you will be able to study and evaluate the message.

An example of critical listening is when you have to critically listen to your doctor whilst he tells you your covid-19 results, you will have to listen to your doctor carefully so that you can understand what these results means for you and the impact that they will have on your life, your doctors instructions are of most important because they will help you to survive.

If you are thinking about purchasing a new PlayStation you will watch some video reviews of the new console and you will listen to the video presenter when he talks about the specs of this new console so that you can make an informed decision about the purchase, critical listening does involve some sort of decision making to a certain extent.

Empathetic Listening

Empathetic listening hast to do with really try to understand and realize the other persons emotions, you have to connect with the speaker and show emotion, compassion, and concern when you are listening to the speaker, and this really helps you as the listener to understand the speakers situation.

You need to focus on the speaker so that you can support the speaker and really be there for the speaker.

You have to really think of what the speaker is saying and one of the ways that you can do this is by putting yourself in the other person’s shoes so that you can really feel for them and understand what they are going through.

For example, when your friend tells you that their mother has passed, you have to connect with your friend emotionally and tell them that it’s going to be okay, you have to put yourself in your friend’s shoes and think about how you would feel if you lost a parent.

You have to show compassion, you have to encourage your friend, in some cases you would have to give your friend a hug and really be in the moment with them, this shows that you really do care for them and that you really feel for them.

Example two, your friend has graduated from the university, you would show empathy to them by being happy for them and by congratulating them, and this would show your friend that you really care for him/her and that you really want your friend to be successful in life, the emotion that you show your friend could show your friend that you understand how difficult the journey has been for them and that you are genuinely happy for your friend.

Perform a Self-Evaluation & Shift your Perception

It’s important to perceive yourself in an honest and correct way, this will also make you perceive others correctly and it will decrease misjudgments of perception towards others.

One of the ways that you can improve your perception is to evaluate the way you see yourself, this will help you to identify your weaknesses and it will help you to make suggestions that will improve your perception. You can even take a piece of paper and write down your weaknesses and your strengths.

If you work on your weaknesses than you might be able to turn them into strengths and improve your overall perception

If you were in a different environment and you felt a-bit uneasy or a-bit uncomfortable the best thing that you would have to do would be to shift your perception and see things or a situation from a different point of view by asking yourself why you are seeing things in a certain way and what could assist you to see things in a different way. The way that you perceive others comes from how you perceive yourself, how you perceive another person’s character comes from or evolves from how you perceive your own character.

Expand Understanding of Perception of Others

You have to ask questions to the person that you are listening or speaking to, you have to understand their feelings and you have to see things from their point of view, doing this will help you to perceive that person in the correct way.

You can also empathize with another person, this will give you the skill to be sensitive to the other persons feelings, this will then make you perceive them in a more acceptable and suitable way.

Positive Attitude

You need to have a positive and neutral attitude before you perceive a certain situation, this will help you to judge the situation in a fair way. Let’s assume that you do not like the African National Congress (ANC), your perception of the president will be negative before he even delivers a speech.

This is wrong because our perception of the president will be negative from the get go. If we had a positive attitude and a neutral attitude towards the ANC then we would at least give the president a chance to speak before we judged him, this would then mean that our perception of his speech would be fair because it would be based on the speech.  


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