creating a new social norm for hearing care
Modernising Attitudes to Hearing Care

Society's current attitudes to hearing are largely out of date. They do not reflect the breakthroughs that have been made in our understanding of how hearing works, nor do they reflect the recent advances in hearing technology. This outdated attitude has a direct impact on the way hearing care is provided, and the way society decides if and when to seek advice and treatment for any reduction in their hearing range. The result is a reactive rather than a proactive approach to hearing care.

This project, Modernising Attitudes to Hearing Care, seeks to identify those attitudes and the reasons behind them, and to provide recommendations for their modernisation. The more organisations and individuals who adopt these recommendations, the more quickly we'll see the percentage of the population seeking the appropriate health care for their hearing and reduce the time taken to do so. The aim is to create a "Tipping Point", the point at which the number of people using hearing care reaches a critical mass enough to change the social norm.

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Part 1: Where Our Attitudes to Hearing Care Come From

Shaping attitudes

Attitudes to hearing have Five Key Drivers. By identifying those drivers and understanding where they come, we can target them to accelerate the modernisation of attitudes towards hearing care, on a personal and social level.

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Part 2: Tools for Shaping Attitudes to Hearing Care

Shaping attitudes

Attitudes help us to find our way in an incredibly complex world. They're like having a guide book that tells us what to avoid and what to approach.

In Part 2 we look at how attitudes work and how they are shaped by the signals we pick up.

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Part 3: Creating a New Social Norm for Hearing

Shaping attitudes

People often rely on social norms to guide their attitudes and behaviour. So they are a powerful tool for implementing widespread changes in public attitudes, especially when used to replace ones that either harmful, unhelpful or outdated, as with hearing care. Part 3 looks at the current social norm and explains how to replace it.

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Scope of Discussion

Within the context of this discussion, the term “reduced hearing” is used to describe hearing that is below “normal” as defined by the World Health Organisation and applies to those who use an aural language as their primary language. As the Deaf Community have their own language and social structure they are currently outside of the scope of this document, although some of the material presented here may be considered relevant.

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How to increase hearing aid adoption by shaping attitudes

Recorded at the Copenhagen Opera House, Denmark in August 2012 as part of the 5th International Oticon Conference