Cocktail Party Effect and Jr. High Students Part 1

The cocktail party effect attempts to explain the reasoning behind the question, If I have two ears why can I only focus my attention solidly on one audible source. The ‘cocktail party effect’ by definition is the ability an individual has to focus their attention on a single conversation, audible noise, or the ability to pick their name out among various other background noises and conversations happening around them. This effect can happen in one of two different situations: First, when an individual is focused on one sound that is around them, or secondly, when we become invoked by a sudden stimulus that grabs our attention (i.e. someone calls your name from across the room). Our hearing reaches a noise suppression from 9 to 15 dB, i.e., the acoustic source, on which humans concentrate, seems to be three times louder than the ambient noise. The cocktail party effect has become more noticeable in society with the introduction of more ‘distractions’ in every day situations (i.e. cell phones, iPods, video games etc.) The goal of this paper is to examine the original research on the cocktail party effect and examine how it is relevant or even noticeable in among the jr. high age bracket of grades 6-8.

The motivation of the correlation of the early work of the cocktail party effect and the research done with jr. high students would be to see how technology has become so dominant in their culture that their ability to multi-task is their new ‘cocktail party effect’.

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