Understanding Speech amid the Jingle and Jangle: Recommendations for Improving Measurement Practices in Listening Effort Research


The latent constructs psychologists study are typically not directly accessible, so researchers must design measurement instruments that are intended to provide insights about those constructs. Construct validation—assessing whether instruments measure what they intend to—is therefore critical for ensuring that the conclusions we draw actually reflect the intended phenomena. Insufficient construct validation can lead to the jingle fallacy—falsely assuming two instruments measure the same construct because the instruments share a name—and the jangle fallacy—falsely assuming two instruments measure different constructs because the instruments have different names. In this paper, we examine construct validation practices in research on listening effort and identify patterns that strongly suggest the presence of jingle and jangle in the literature. We argue that the lack of construct validation for listening effort measures has led to inconsistent findings and hindered our understanding of the construct. We also provide specific recommendations for improving construct validation of listening effort instruments, drawing on the framework laid out in a recent paper on improving measurement practices. Although this paper addresses listening effort, the issues raised and recommendations presented are widely applicable to tasks used in research on auditory perception and cognitive psychology.

Auditory Perception & Cognition