Semin Hear 2023; 44(02): 155-165
DOI: 10.1055/s-0043-1766140
Review Article

Dual-Task Paradigm Measures of Listening Effort: To Include or Not to Include Secondary Task Responses with Incorrect Primary Task Responses

Haiping Huang
1   Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
Ilze Oosthuizen
2   Department of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa
3   Virtual Hearing Lab, University of Colorado School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado
Erin M. Picou
1   Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee
4   Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tennessee
› Author Affiliations


Response time–based dual-task paradigms are commonly adopted to measure behavioral listening effort. Most extant studies used an all-response approach that included secondary task responses under both correct and incorrect primary task responses during analysis. However, evidence supporting this strategy is limited. Therefore, the current study investigated the potential differences between including all responses versus only including correct responses. Data from two previous studies were reanalyzed. Experiment 1 included 16 listeners and used a dual-task paradigm to examine the effect of introducing background noise on listening effort. Experiment 2 included 19 participants and used a different dual-task paradigm to examine the effect of reverberation and loudspeaker-to-listener distance on listening effort. ANOVA results obtained using both analysis approaches were compared. The all-response and correct-only approaches revealed similar results. However, larger effect sizes and an additional main effect were found with the all-response approach. The current study supports the use of an all-response approach due to its greater sensitivity to changes in behavioral listening effort. However, a correct-only approach could be utilized to suit specific study purposes.

Publication History

Article published online:
28 March 2023

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