When listening is spoken

Curr Opin Psychol. 2022 Oct:47:101402. doi: 10.1016/j.copsyc.2022.101402. Epub 2022 Jun 23.


Feeling heard is critical to human flourishing-across domains, relationships are strengthened and individual well-being is enhanced when people feel listened to. High-quality conversational listening not only requires the cognitive processes of attention and processing, but also behavioral expression to communicate one's cognitive engagement to others. This need to behaviorally express listening introduces the possibility of deception. Listening can be expressed using non-verbal, paralinguistic, and verbal behaviors. However, recent work reveals that perceptions of conversational listening are often inaccurate-dishonest portrayals of listening often go undetected, while honest portrayals are sometimes mistaken for deception. This article will review work on listening, arguing that honest high-quality conversational listening is most effectively conveyed (and detected) using verbal expressions of listening, in part because these cues cannot be faked.

Keywords: Conversation; Listening; Relationships.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Communication*
  • Cues*
  • Humans