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Persuasive power headphones are in the listener

Headphones have a much stronger impact on listeners’ perceptions, judgments and behaviors than speakers.Credit: UC San Diego

Americans spend an average of four hours a day listening to audio through either headphones or speakers, but there is a big difference in the psychological impact of the two media. Headphones reveal a robust new study that has a much stronger impact on listeners’ perceptions, judgments and behaviors, and has a wide range of impacts on advertising, remote work and training programs.


“Headphones cause a phenomenon called localization in the head. speaker “They sound like they’re in your head,” said research co-author On Amir, a marketing professor at the University of California, San Diego’s Graduate School of Business. As a result, listeners feel warmer, more empathetic to them, act on them, and are more easily persuaded by them. “

The findings from the University of California, Los Angeles, Radiy School, UCLA, and UC Berkeley are reproduced in five different surveys, including both fieldwork and online surveys with more than 4,000 participants.All studies of articles published in the journal Organizational behavior and human decision-making processRevealed that headphone listeners were familiar with the speakers, while others tested the media’s impact on empathy and persuasion.

For example, one experiment used the Amazon Mechanical Turk platform to survey 1,310 adults who heard clips of mothers and daughters talking about the homeless. Participants were randomly assigned to listen to audio through either headphones or speakers. Those who listened to the clip on headphones reported that they felt more sympathetic to the speakers and their mother and daughter felt more authentic than those who listened to the same audio on the speakers.

Another online survey included more than 800 adults and tested the persuasiveness of the speaker. Participants needed to hear a speaker clip explaining how his parents died tragically in a car accident when attacked by a distracted driver. Next, the communicator talked about the dangers of texting while driving. Headphone listeners pointed out that texting messages while driving were more dangerous than those who heard the same message on the speakers and caused many deaths.

In addition, the fieldwork in this paper, conducted at the University of California, San Diego, measured behavioral changes. Campus passers-by had the opportunity to listen to some of the podcasts and write letters to help communicators who heard they were award-winning. They were also able to sign up to learn more about how to help disseminate information about the communicator company Islay. People who listen to podcasts on headphones are much more likely to agree to help the communicator by writing award letters to the communicator than participants who listen to the speakers, and how to help the company. You could have asked for more information.

Key impacts of audio advertising, remote work, education and industry training

Given the ever-increasing proportion of auditory messages and virtual communication, the significance of this paper is widespread.

By 2022, US radio advertising spending is projected to reach $ 14.8 billion, and US podcast advertising revenue is estimated to exceed $ 2 billion by 2023.

“If the goal is to make listeners familiar with the communicator, or to specifically convince them with messages, such as public service ads, managers place ads and messages on programs that are often consumed by headphones, such as podcasts. “The message should be considered,” said Alicea Lieberman, assistant marketing professor at UCLA Anderson School of Business. “On the other hand, where the message is placed when the listener does not need to experience a sense of familiarity with the communicator. (Podcasts and talk radio, etc.) are not that important. “

Auditory media is an integral part of working hours and is even more important in remote work. For example, in 2018, $ 87.6 billion was spent on industry training and 69% was related to virtual classroom / webcasting or video broadcasting.

Juliana Schroeder, associate professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, said: “For example, managers may encourage employees to listen to safety training and webins using headphones, which allows them to change their attitudes and behaviors more effectively than through speakers. increase.”

Amir added that the media can enhance collaboration, especially in the era of remote work, so companies can send headphones to employees to facilitate their use in telephone conversations.

Headphones also promote a more loyal and enthusiastic viewer to the personality being broadcast.

“Obviously, according to our research, influencers, bloggers, podcasters, people headphone “Because it creates that attachment,” he said.


Good headphones combine physics and anatomy, but what you want to hear is also important in choosing the right pair.


For more information:
Voice in my head: the psychological and behavioral consequences of hearing skills, Organizational behavior and human decision-making process (2022).

Quote: Voice in my head: Convincing power headphones have for listeners (February 22, 2022) February 22, 2022 https://phys.org/news/2022-02-voice -Get from persuasive-power-headphones.html

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Persuasive power headphones are in the listener

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