Listening effort (LE) has been defined as “the mental exertion required to attend to, and understand, an auditory message” (McGarrigle et al., 2014). Research has demonstrated the effect of increasing task demands on LE, however there is evidence that multiple other factors influence effort, including motivation (Richter, 2016). Recently Pichora-Fuller et al. (2016) developed the Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL) which argues that motivation moderates the relationship between task demands and effort, for example, if a listener perceives that they will gain value and reward from listening they are more willing to expend effort in challenging conditions. Understanding the role motivation plays in effortful listening may help clarify why individuals give up on tasks and inform rehabilitation strategies for individuals with hearing impairment.
My PhD research aims to answer the following:
• Does manipulating motivation alter the relationship between listening demands and effort?
• Do measures of listening effort differ in sensitivity to changes in motivation?
• How do hearing impaired and normal hearing individuals compare in regards to effort in low/high motivational situations?