Hearing Aid Imagery May Motivate College Students to Lower Earbud Volume Campaigns incorporating pictures of behind-the-ear hearing aids may be more effective at persuading college-age students to use earphones at lower volume than text-only messages or images of damaged inner-ear hair cells, according to new research. Study authors surveyed college students about their knowledge of and behavior surrounding personal listening devices ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   March 01, 2017
Hearing Aid Imagery May Motivate College Students to Lower Earbud Volume
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Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   March 01, 2017
Hearing Aid Imagery May Motivate College Students to Lower Earbud Volume
The ASHA Leader, March 2017, Vol. 22, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.22032017.10
The ASHA Leader, March 2017, Vol. 22, 10. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB1.22032017.10
Campaigns incorporating pictures of behind-the-ear hearing aids may be more effective at persuading college-age students to use earphones at lower volume than text-only messages or images of damaged inner-ear hair cells, according to new research.
Study authors surveyed college students about their knowledge of and behavior surrounding personal listening devices (PLDs) and hearing loss, as well as health education information. Yula C. Serpanos, professor and coordinator of the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders’ AuD program at Adelphi University, led the research.
“Evocative imagery using hearing aids may be an effective approach in hearing protective-health campaigns for motivating safer listening practices with PLDs in young adults,” the authors note in the study, which was published in the American Journal of Audiology. The “evocative imagery” tested included two side-by-side photographs—one of earphones in an ear with the statement “Hear today,” the other a behind-the-ear hearing aid in an ear with the statement “Gone tomorrow.” Additional text read, “Turn down your music before you can’t hear it anymore.”

Students most frequently cited “acoustically pleasing” and “emotional” motives for why they listened to music or other media at high volumes.

Survey responses from 523 college students at Adelphi and Pace University indicated that this type of message would be more effective in motivating them to turn down their music volume than the two other options: a text-only statement about earphones and noise-induced hearing loss, and side-by-side images of normal and damaged inner-ear hair cells.
Students most frequently cited “acoustically pleasing” and “emotional” motives for why they listened to music or other media at high volumes, even though 85 percent of respondents knew prolonged listening could cause permanent hearing loss.
Nearly half of the students said they use earphones for more than two hours each day, though significantly more young listeners (ages 17–22) reported listening to PLDs for more than two hours each day, compared with those 23 and older. This finding could suggest students generally practice safer listening practices as they get older.
2 Comments
March 14, 2017
Katharine Elsbree
Photo wanted!
Is there any way to see (and share) the photo of Hear Today, Gone Tomorrow that was used in the study? It would greatly benefit the young students at my school.
March 15, 2017
Haley Blum
Responding to Katharine
Hi Katharine -- the photo is available for viewing on the study's online page (http://aja.pubs.asha.org/article.aspx?articleid=2583405). Hope this helps! --Haley Blum, ASHA Leader writer/editor
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March 2017
Volume 22, Issue 3