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To single out a message from several competing messages


To focus on incoming information for further processing


To assign meaning to the information to which you attend


To recall ideas and information


Preconceived opinions, attitudes, and beliefs about a person, place, thing, or message

Receiver apprehension

The fear of misunderstanding or misinterpreting the spoken messages of others

Listening styles

Preferred ways of making sense out of spoken messages

People-oriented listener

Someone who is comfortable listening to others express feelings and emotions

Action-oriented listener

Someone who prefers information that is well organized, brief, and accurate

Content-oriented listener

Someone prefers messages that are supported with facts and details

Time-oriented listener

Someone who likes succinct messages

Critical listening

Evaluating the quality of information, ideas, arguments presented by a speaker

Critical thinking

Making judgments about the conclusions presented in what you see, hear, and read


Something that has been proven to be true by direct observation


A conclusion based on partial information, or an evaluation that has not been directly observed


The facts, examples, opinions, and stats that a speaker uses to support a conclusion


A formal system of rules used to reach a conclusion


The process of drawing a conclusion from evidence

Rhetorical criticism

The process of using a method of standards to evaluate the effectiveness and appropriateness of messages


The use of symbols to create meaning to achieve a goal


Words, images, and behaviors that create meaning

Rhetorical strategies

Methods and techniques that speakers use to achieve their speaking goals

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