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ブログ 2018-10-11

Mysterious phenomenon related to sound “Cocktail-party effect”

Hello, this is Mr.I of Shizuka Co., Ltd..

Today, I would like to introduce a mysterious phenomenon related to sound “cocktail-party effect”
original article in Japanese (日本語の記事)

What is “cocktail-party effect”?

Like a cocktail party, a lot of people speak each other and various miscellaneous sounds are coming, a phenomenon that you can hear the conversation of yourself interested, your name, etc. as nature. We call this phenomenon a “cocktail-party effect”. In other words, it refers to the brain’s ability to select and listen to only the things that are necessary for yourself in the surrounding environment. Not only selectively listening, but also selectively not listening to unnecessary information is also a cocktail-party effect. 

Examples of effects

· Even in a noisy concert venue such as a music festival, you can distinguish the sound of your favorite band
· When concentrating on reading books in the library, you do not mind the sound of the watch or the surrounding noise
· You can listen to the voices of friends and family even in the crowd

When I was a student, I was doing a copy of my favorite band, but when it becomes to a minor band, there is no band score (musical score). Therefore, from the CD sound source, I was doing well to remember the phrase (listening to the ear) while conscious of only the sound of instruments that I was in charge of in the band. This is also a kind of cocktail party effect as it is listening only by selecting the necessary sound.

What causes the effect?

The cocktail party effect seems to have large psychological factors, there are various related research and articles, but scientifically it seems that the cause is said to be ‘unresolved’. However, it actually exists as an effect, and it has been introduced to a wide range of psychology books as well. There are also marketing tactics and business strategies that utilize cocktail party effects. If you are interested, you may find it interesting to look it up at a bookstore etc.

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