This is an editorial-opinion piece, with some professional back-up on the subject of wearing headphones.

I have always believed that there was an added dimension, a “closeness” with our listeners, by my wearing headphones while listening to you and our guests … but, I never had any back-up to corroborate my beliefs.

I’ve been wearing headphones on a daily basis, 4 hours per day for more than 30 years. Some in our business listen to guests and on-air callers with an external speaker. I don’t agree with that. You lose something very important in the two-way communication process.

Harry Hurley-TSM
Harry Hurley-TSM

It allows you to hear very subtle things and affords you the opportunity to pay close attention to what you’re hearing.

This was always anecdotal and I could never find anything credible to support my theory. Until now.

”Headphones produce a phenomenon called in head localization, which makes the speaker (the person you’re listening to) sound as if they’re inside your head,” said On Amir, A professor of marketing at the University of California, San Diego.

This has always made perfect sense to me.

“Consequently, listeners perceive the communication as closer, both physically and socially. As a result, listeners perceive the communicator as warmer, they feel and behave more empathetically toward them and they are more easily persuaded by them’” Amir explained in a university news release.

I believe every word of this. I’ve actually experienced it on countless occasions.

This (below) is our Grandson, Noah. He loves to wear headphones while doing homework and talking with his friends.

Noah Hurley Baker - Harry Hurley photo.
Noah Hurley Baker - Harry Hurley photo.

The University of California, San Diego study may have dramatic implications in the following areas:

  • Training Programs.
  • Remote work/learning.
  • Advertising.

They did a series of experiments with more than 4,000 people.

They have concluded that when you wear headphones, there is a much stronger effect versus external speakers which directly affected perceptions, judgments, and behaviors.

The findings are scheduled to be published in the journal Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes.

Amir is convinced that, “clearly, our research suggests that influencers, bloggers and podcasters want to try to make sure the people listen by headphones because that creates that attachment. Our research proposes that is not only what or whom people hear that influences their judgment, decisions, and behaviors, but also how they hear the message.”

Give it a try. See if you “hear” the difference.

SOURCE: On Amir & the University of California, San Diego.

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