Social facilitation theory suggests that the presence of strangers produces arousal in humans. Although the arousal may facilitate over-motor responses, it tends to debilitate more implicit responses, especially overt intellectual activity. Based upon the assumption that listening comprehension is more an implicit response than overt-motor behavior, the present study investigated the effects of social facilitation upon listening comprehension. Results indicate that subjects listening to instructional material while alone comprehend significantly more than those listening as an audience member. Moreover, trend analysis indicated that there is a significant and nonlinear relationship between the number of strangers present and listening comprehension. The addition of strangers has only a marginal impact on the listener.
ASJC Scopus subject areas