72% Of People Eavesdrop By Sydney Armstrong

Do you eavesdrop? I know I have before. Did you know that 72% of people eaves drop on other peoples’ conversations? According to the article The Science of Eavesdropping, by Jonah Lehrer, you’re more likely to eavesdrop on a conversation that you only know one side of. For example, someone on the phone. You only know one side of the conversation, but you’re more likely to be interested in that conversation. What Is known as the “information gap” explains how our brain are attracted to gaps in information. “They demonstrated, for instance, that subjects listening to only one side of a conversation – what they call ahalfalogue' - showed decreased performance on a range of cognitive tasks that require undivided attention. In a second experiment, the researchers confirmed that it’s the “unpredictable nature” of the halfalogue that makes it so compelling. Because we don’t know what the conversation is about, or where it’s headed, we can’t help but eavesdrop. Our attention is sucked in by the uncertainty of the words,” says Lehrer. I can’t help to ask why. Why are we so interested in half of the information? Why does curiosity take over and distract our every move? What if you hear a whole conversation, and you know the people having the conversation or you know of or who they are talking about? Would you be more interested in that conversation? How much would it distract you? I’ll admit, I listen in on my parents’ conversations all the time. I want to know what is going on in their world, or if something is wrong, or if I or my sister are in trouble. I eavesdrop on peoples’ conversations at school, especially if I’m not exactly fond of that person(s). I just can’t seem to figure out why it sparks my interest. It’s really none of my business, if I’m being completely honest, and the fact that I know it’s none of my business really confuses me. Do you eavesdrop and you know you don’t need to know anything about what they are talking about?



Created with images by Jon_Callow_Images - "Thai Food" • rachaelvoorhees - "mateo, stop your eavesdropping!"

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