Document Type

Capstone Project

Publication Date

Spring 5-11-2017


Listening effort is being considered clinically as an important indicator of patient success with amplification. Listening effort refers to “the mental exertion required to attend to, and understand, an auditory message”. (McGarrigle et al., 2014) Cognitive ability, age, and degree of hearing impairment all must considered when measuring the effort one is exerting on a specific task. Listening effort can be measured using subjective tools, electrophysiologic measures, or with a dual-task paradigm. Subjective tools include self-reports and questionnaires. Electrophysiologic measures can consist of measuring pupil dilation, heart rate variability, and skin conductance. A dual-task paradigm is set-up with two tasks performed by a person simultaneously. The amount of decline on the secondary task compared to when that task is completed in isolation, indicates the amount of effort that was exerted on the task. Each method has its strengths as well as its limitations. This paper discusses the current research on the various methods to measuring listening effort and provides clinical applications for these outcome measures.