A model of listening engagement (MoLE)
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© 2020 Elsevier B.V. Hearing impairment in older adulthood puts people at risk of communication difficulties, disengagement from listening, and social withdrawal. Here, we develop a model of listening engagement (MoLE) that provides a conceptual foundation to understand when people engage in listening and why some people disengage. We use the term “listening engagement” to describe the recruitment of executive and other cognitive resources in the service of a valued communication goal. Listening engagement, listening motivation, and listening experiences are closely interconnected: motivation and other factors determine the degree to which resources are recruited during listening, which in turn influences subjective listening experiences such as enjoyment, effort, frustration, and boredom. We anticipate that this model will help researchers assess more accurately whether a person with hearing difficulties is at risk of disengagement and social withdrawal. It is further useful to more comprehensively characterize a person's listening experiences in laboratory settings when rich, engaging stimulus materials, such as spoken stories, are used. We hope this model will allow new questions in applied and basic hearing science and auditory cognitive neuroscience to be asked and answered.