Social Intelligence and Hearing Loss
Blog topic written by Hannah Mann, staff writer at DeafandHoH.com
A Facebook member asked if there was a connection between social intelligence and hearing loss. Often, deaf and hard of hearing children—especially those with hearing families who don’t use any visual mode of communication—struggle with absorbing the secondary information that accompanies interactions with people. For example, if a deaf person cannot hear (or recognize) the inflection in someone’s voice, or cannot match up precise words to expressions, they may miss out on social nuances that come more naturally to hearing people. For example, I tended to take some of my friends’ more subtle jokes at face value until well into my teens. I didn’t realize they were joking until they started directly (albeit playfully) telling me. It took me a while to recognize the “pattern” associated with those jokes, and even now, sometimes I still miss it.
Interestingly, the answer may lie partly in culture, or factors that give rise to certain cultural characteristics. Specifically, I’m referring to the culturally Deaf’s tendency for bluntness. In the States, culturally Deaf people are typically more direct than hearing people. Will Estes, a CODA (child of deaf adults) recently posted a humorous video showing how these cultural differences clash.
Is it possible that bluntness and other qualities are a byproduct of hearing loss, regardless of culture, and that these qualities contribute to social intelligence? Or are there other factors involved? In fact, is there even a connection between social intelligence and hearing loss? What do you think? Come tell us at this Wednesday’s Open Chat Night.
Tags for this Thread