Conceptions of listening, learning processes, and epistemologies held by American, Irish, and Australian university students

Theresa McDevitt, Eugene Sheehan, John Cooney, Howard Smith, Iain WALKER

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48 American, 39 Irish, and 52 Australian university students completed surveys focused on listening and related constructs. Students were asked about their conceptions of good listening, the difficulties they encountered listening and their methods for solving these problems, their typical demeanors while listening, their reasons for asking and not asking questions, their levels of motivation, their ranking of achievement in comparison to peers, their personal epistemologies, and the learning processes they employed. Students cited a variety of features of good listening, problems and methods of solving them, and reasons for asking and not asking questions. Some aspects of listening were associated with learning processes, such as question asking and elaborative processes. There was also evidence that listening comprehension processes and superficial, behavioral aspects of listening were somewhat independent of general epistemologies and learning processes. Predictors of question asking were examined, and cultural differences were obtained in listening, learning, and epistemology composites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-256
Number of pages25
JournalLearning and Individual Differences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1994


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