Differences Between Hearing and Listening: The process of communication is two-way. Because they do not understand the distinction between hearing and listening, many people do not pay attention to or comprehend what others are saying or feeling. Instead of responding, “I am listening to what you are saying,” they respond when someone speaks to them by saying, “I hear what you are saying.”
Hearing and listening are very different things in reality. Although the terms hearing and listening are frequently used synonymously, this is incorrect. Listening is an active skill that involves paying attention to and focusing on what you hear, whereas hearing is the process of perceiving sound via your ears. Let’s examine the distinction between hearing and listening in more detail.
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Definition of Hearing
Hearing refers to the innate ability or characteristic that enables us to identify sound through our ears by picking up vibrations. It is one of the five senses, and it is what causes us to be aware of sound, to put it simply. It is an uncontrollable process in which a person is constantly exposed to sound waves. Known as audio or sonic, a typical human’s hearing ranges from 20 to 20000 Hertz. Any frequency that falls outside of the specified range is considered to be ultrasonic, and vice versa.
hearing daily Everywhere we go, we constantly hear sounds. While at home, you might hear other people chatting, the sound of the television, and any other sounds that are occurring nearby. Depending on your workplace, you may hear sounds around you while you’re at work. While driving, you may hear the sounds of other vehicles and any public activities, such as people laughing, talking, shouting, etc. After a long day, when you finally retire to bed and drift off to sleep, you still hear things. All of the things occur all around you without necessarily catching your attention. All you are hearing are sound waves. Hearing acts as an alarm system, even when you’re not aware of it.
Even though hearing might not appear as crucial as listening, it does have some advantages. Your relationships, profession, and mental health can all benefit from both listening and hearing. When attempting to comprehend our surroundings, hearing is essential. Indeed, persons who lose their hearing suffer a lot of unfavorable effects.
For instance, a hearing impairment can make it challenging to connect with others. If you have hearing loss, you are also more prone to have anxiety, sadness, low self-esteem, and anger-related problems. You can “hear,” nevertheless, in unconventional ways as well. Some of these unfavorable side effects can be mitigated by using sign language and being aware of body language. The best person to turn to for assistance if you experience any of the aforementioned problems is a therapist or other mental health specialist.
How does the ear process sound? Amazing human body parts include the ears. They can absorb sound waves and convert them into electrical impulses that the brain can comprehend. Three major sections make up the ear:
1. The pinna, or the portion of the ear that is visible when you look in a mirror, is what makes up the outer ear. The ear canal, which connects to your eardrum, is also a part of the outer ear.
2. Several small bones that transport sound to the inner ear make up the middle ear.
3. The cochlea, a spiral-shaped organ in the inner ear, turns sound into electrical impulses that the brain can understand.
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Definition of Listening
The ability to hear sounds through our ears and translate them into meaningful messages is known as listening. Simply described, it is the process of carefully listening to and deciphering the speaker’s words and sentences throughout the conversation. Unlike hearing, listening requires you to actively concentrate on what you hear and give the person or people speaking your complete attention. To respond effectively, it’s also necessary to comprehend what you’re hearing and absorb it. This is having the ability to block out background noise or other sounds so that you can focus on what you’re hearing.
For instance, if your name is called in a noisy room, you should be able to focus on the caller and divert your attention from other talks. When listening to music nearby, you can block out the sound of the TV in the room next door. When someone is speaking to you about a significant issue or problem, paying attention can help you understand what they are attempting to say and provide a useful answer.
Because the human mind is readily diverted and listening calls for concentration and attention, it can be challenging. It is a strategy used by people to understand what is being said using various verbal and non-verbal cues, or how it is being said. What language is used? body language, vocal inflection, and so forth. The essential component of good communication is active listening. It also includes giving comments and creating sounds that demonstrate listening attention. It had a bigger impact on our lives and was utilized to study, understand, and acquire information.
Differences Between Hearing and Listening
1. Hearing refers to a person’s ability to recognize sounds by sensing vibrations via their ears. Being aware of your listening involves analyzing and comprehending the noises you hear.
2. Hearing is the primary and continuous process, which means that it comes first and takes place continually, followed by listening. However, listening is only a transitory state because we are unable to focus on something for extended periods.
3. Hearing is one of our senses that is acquired by living things and is physiological. Listening, on the other hand, is a psychological (conscious) act.
4. Hearing is a physiological activity that occurs passively and does not use the brain. It is a more active mental process than listening, involving the use of the brain to infer meaning from words and sentences.
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5. Hearing is the act of receiving information through the ears. On the other hand, listening includes interpreting the information that the ears have picked up.
6. Listening is an acquired skill, whereas hearing is an innate ability.
7. When we hear, we are unaware of the noises we are hearing, but when we listen, we are fully conscious of what the speaker is saying.
8. Hearing relies solely on the use of the ears. In contrast, listening calls for the use of multiple senses, including the eyes, ears, touch, and others, to fully and precisely comprehend the message.
9. When we hear, neither we are aware of the noises we are hearing, nor do we have any influence over them. However, when we listen, we are aware of what the other person is saying, and as a result, we listen to learn and to be informed.
10. Listening requires concentration, but hearing does not periods.
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As a result, it is abundantly evident from the session that listening precedes hearing. Only a select few people have the acquired skill of listening, whereas hearing is simply the capacity to hear, i.e., natural or gifted. While hearing happens automatically and without conscious thought, listening is a deliberate act in which we choose which signals to focus on.
Edeh Samuel Chukwuemeka, ACMC, is a lawyer and a certified mediator/conciliator in Nigeria. He is also a developer with knowledge in various programming languages. Samuel is determined to leverage his skills in technology, SEO, and legal practice to revolutionize the legal profession worldwide by creating web and mobile applications that simplify legal research. Sam is also passionate about educating and providing valuable information to people.