What is critical listening?


Critical listening is a form of listening that involves attentiveness to facts and careful evaluation with the goal of forming a logical judgment. Critical listening involves assessment of any arguments presented.

According to Changing Minds, critical listening is a unique form of listening due to its requirement of active evaluation. Rather than passive listening, in which the listener takes in information without processing it, critical listening involves active processing with the end goal of making a judgment of disagreement or approval. SkillsYouNeed.com further clarifies the process of critical listening by explaining that the primary goal of the critical listener is to criticize and scrutinize what is said.

Critical listening revolves around assessing the facts and arguments provided and providing a critical analysis. This is a crucial skill in all academic disciplines, as it allows the listener to take a skeptical approach to new information rather than adopting any presented idea without further investigation. SkillsYouNeed.com also points out that the word "critical" when used in this context does not imply that the given argument is flawed. Critical listening simply means that the listener is actively engaged in whatever he happens to be listening to, leading to true learning rather than passive acceptance.

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