Women May Talk More, But They Are Also Better Listeners. TestYourself.psychtests.com Releases Results Of Their Listening Skills Research
TestYourself reveals gender and age differences in listening ability, and explains why this undervalued skill is so important in everyday life.
MONTREAL, CANADA (MARKETWIRE) -- November 12, 2011
TestYourself.psychtests.com, a pioneer in online personality, career, and IQ assessments, reveals results of their Listening Skills study. Their findings indicate that women and older age groups tend to be better listeners, and that a fair amount of people continue to practice listening "faux pas" like interrupting, finishing other people's sentences, and otherwise not giving someone their undivided attention.
Women can tell when someone isn't listening. They recognize that distant, glassy look, the misplaced "Uh huhs", the fidgeting for the remote control, or the sudden realization that something in the garage needs to be fixed posthaste. And while the fairer gender can be accused rather compellingly of talking too much, they can now counter with the argument that their ears are working just as much as their mouth is, thanks to TestYourself's latest research.
With over 20,000 test-takers, TestYourself's Listening Skills Test asked visitors everything from their tendency to interrupt, daydream during boring conversations, and even disrupt a serious conversation to answer a phone call. TestYourself's data revealed that while most people are generally good listeners (average overall listening score of 65, on a scale from 0 to 100), we need to be more aware of bad listening habits, especially since we may not even realize we engage in them.
"Most people will probably state that they're pretty good listeners, but that's because a lot of us think that listening is a passive process - that it just requires us to hear what others are saying," explains Dr. Ilona Jerabek, president of the company. "Listening is active. We need to be mentally present, which means avoiding distractions, refrain from prematurely judging what the speaker is saying, or focusing on coming up with the perfect comment. We also need to be physically present - this means eye contact and open body language - and no fidgeting!"
Women seem to grasp this active listening concept slightly better than men do. TestYourself's data shows that women are not only a little better at using body language to show that they are listening (score of 72 for women, 69 for men), they were also more likely to let a conversation flow rather than interrupt a speaker. Age comparisons reveal that older age groups are not only better listeners and good with body language, but also have longer attention span, are more likely to hear a person out, and less likely to get distracted.
TestYourself's data also reveals that while listening to others...
- 3% of test-takers admitted that they don't make eye contact.
- 12% will finish someone's sentences.
- 16% will correct the speaker if they mispronounce a word.
- 17% have a tendency to interrupt.
- 19% will purposely divert or end conversations that don't interest them.
- 20% admit that they perform other tasks at the same time (e.g. watch TV, cook).
- 23% fidget (play with hair, look at watch, tap feet, drum fingers).
- 27% make disapproving faces if they don't agree with the speaker.
- 31% are thinking about how they will respond to the speaker.
- 40% admit that their mind wanders if they find the topic of conversation boring.
"The importance of active listening goes beyond relationships ," adds Dr. Jerabek. "Our study also showed that people with good listening skills had better grades in school and higher performance ratings at work. Listening takes effort, however, and a willingness to give our undivided focused to someone, which isn't always easy."
Here are some listening tips from TestYourself:
- Resist doing two things at once. Research has shown that is it very difficult to fully concentrate when we attend to two tasks at once. When we multitask, our attention to, and perception of, the information we receive is greatly diminished. If you're listening to someone and watching TV at the same time, for example, chances are that you are going to miss out on quite a bit of information.
- Listen for understanding, not evaluation. Focus on understanding what the speaker is trying to communicate and shut off your internal judge. If you prematurely judge what a person's is saying, you may subconsciously or consciously filter out information that doesn't support your judgment and therefore, won't be fully taking in the entire point of what the person is trying to get across.
- Paraphrase what was just said. Repeat back to the person, in a condensed form, the core of what he or she has said. This not only shows that you are actively listening, but also clears up any possible miscommunication. It doesn't need to sound tacky - you can start your paraphrasing with "If I understand correctly, you are saying that ... [fill in the blank]", or "Let me rehash your point to see if I got it right".
- Try to understand the feelings behind the words. Using "I" phrases, state your interpretation of how the person is feeling. For example, "If I understand you correctly, I think you may be somewhat angry at this person for the way you have been treated." Be very careful, however, not to make big leaps or put words in anyone's mouth.
- Be animated! Use eye contact and body language to indicate that you are interested and engaged in the conversation. Face the person you are speaking with and make eye contact often. If you're fiddling with something or slumping in your chair, you're sending the message (whether intentional or not) that what the person has to say is not important.
Those who wish to take the Listening Skills Test can go to: http://testyourself.psychtests.com/testid/3132
TestYourself.psychtests.com is a subsidiary of PsychTests AIM Inc. TestYourself.psychtests.com is a site that creates an interactive venue for self-exploration with a healthy dose of fun. The site offers a full range of professional-quality, scientifically-validated psychological assessments that empower people to grow and reach their real potential through insightful feedback and detailed, custom-tailored analysis.
About Psychtests AIM Inc.
PsychTests AIM Inc. originally appeared on the internet scene in 1996. Since its inception, it has become a pre-eminent provider of psychological assessment products and services to human resource personnel, therapists, academics, researchers and a host of other professionals around the world. PsychTests AIM Inc. staff is comprised of a dedicated team of psychologists, test developers, researchers, statisticians, writers, and artificial intelligence experts. The company's research division, Plumeus Inc., is supported in part by Research and Development Tax Credit awarded by Industry Canada.
Ilona Jerabek, Ph.D., President
Psychtests AIM Inc.