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What is the main difference between informational listening and critical listening?

Tara Andrews

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Cynthia Baker on December 14, 2018

Critical thinking uses rational reason, while in the empathic listening tune with the feelings and emotions. Critical thinking involves determining the meaning and meansnce of what is observed or expressed, or, concerning a given inference or argument, determining whether there is adequate justification to accept the conclusion as true. Critical listening is listening in order to evaluate and judge, forming opinion about what is said. The judgment includes the evaluation of strengths and weaknesses, agreement and approval. This form of listening requires significant real-time cognitive effort as the listener analyzes what is being said, in relation to existing knowledge and rules, while at the same time listening to the ongoing words from the speaker. Informative listening, the next step beyond discriminating between different sound and sights is to make sense of them. To comprehend the meaning requires first having a lexicon of words at our fingertips and also all rules of grammar and syntax which we can understand what others are saying. The same is true, of course, for the visual components of communication, and an understanding of body language helps us to understand what the other person is really meaning. In the communication, some words are more important and some more, and comprehension often benefits from extraction of key facts and items from a long spiel. Comprehension listening is also known as content listening, informative listening and full listening. One difference is the comprehensive information and listening can be done before the critical listening.


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