Selecting laboratory test scenarios
When performing hearing-related laboratory tests, a selection of test scenarios is needed. Traditionally, various speech situations (in quiet or in noise) have been implemented, with varying degree of ecological validity. Some research groups suggest a set of “prototype listening situations” that can be used for laboratory testing. None of these sets have been widely adopted. Other research investigates the listening situations encountered in everyday life in order to learn more about people’s auditory reality. This information could potentially be used when selecting laboratory test scenarios. Ecological Momentary Assessments (EMA) is one method that can be used to investigate everyday listening situations as they occur. EMA methodology increases ecological validity by studying individuals’ real time experiences rather than retrospective reports. After a summary of previous work on prototype listening situations, this presentation will show how recently collected EMA data from our laboratory can be used to learn more about common, important, and difficult everyday listening situations.
The results of our study showed that around one third of EMA reports were related to speech communication, and one quarter to focused listening (mainly to TV or radio). Of note, there were also a considerable amount of non-speech, non-active listening reports. When focusing on the very important situations (constituting 24% of the reports), more than half of the situations were of the speech communication type. When investigating only very important situations that occur “almost daily” (13% of the reports), the focused listening situations, mainly listening to TV or radio, constituted half of the situations. When focusing on the very difficult situations (constituting 8% of the reports), again around half of the reported situations were of the speech communication type. However, among the very difficult situations, non-active listening situations constituted almost one quarter of the reports. These non-active listening situations mainly took place in noise.
Based on prior literature and our current data, we will suggest a small set of relevant laboratory test scenarios.