When we sit around the house watching our favourite television show, our football team or just relaxing after a long hard day at work, it’s quite common for partners to talk to us and we just don’t acknowledge them, prompting them to accuse us of having selected hearing.
This implies that we hear certain things and not others (or we just ignore them and the accusation is meant as a joke).
This happens with so many people that it got me wondering – is there such a condition as selective hearing, or is it merely a throwaway comment between people? It has been perceived that it’s usually men who are accused of having selective hearing, choosing to ignore their parents or partners’ requests for help around the house because they’re in the middle of a game or watching television.
However, until now, there has been no proof that that is the case. The age-old argument has rumbled around homes across the globe for decades with no actual proof of a condition existing, but a recent study published in the Hearing Journal revealed that it is in fact a real condition that experts such as Hidden Hearing may be able to help you with.
Researchers including John Phillips, a consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon from Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital Foundation Trust put together a series of words thought to be relevant to men specifically, and also women specifically, and combined the two to see who heard what.
The study involved 40 men and 40 women and revealed that, on average, men correctly heard more male words – such as football and beer – than those from the female list which included words along the lines of chocolate and shopping, and women heard more from their list than from the male list.
At the conclusion of the experiment, Mr. Phillips told the Daily Mail: “For a long time patients remark that their spouses have selective hearing, so it’s been fun explaining that there is some truth in what they say.”
So, the next time your parents or partner accuse you of having selective hearing when you’re trying to watch your favourite talent show or cheering on your team, they could be onto something. It could be that your very composition – as a man or a woman – is the reason you hear the things you do; as opposed to just choosing not to hear the third request for you to do the washing up! If this is the case, it could be time to speak to a specialist, such as Hidden Hearing, to try and help you to relieve the problem.
Although – if you are choosing what you do and don’t hear – it may be worth considering your actions to cut down on the arguments!