Oh thank god - I read this whole thread in one sitting and it was getting so marsvenussy I was starting to wonder “am I literally the ONLY woman in the world who takes the bloke position on this?”
As alluded to by … uh, whoever brought up the Feynmann experiment upthread (sorry, it’s a bit big to go back and look now), I suspect it has something to do with internal cognitive styles. My internal cognition runs 100% verbally (anyone who missed some of the earlier discussions on the board about internally visualising and whether you can do it should really check some of those threads out - there is a very wide range of experience on that front) so I can be doing one of two things a) thinking about anything at all or b) accepting audio input.
Unless I spend all day with my mind on continuous loop “is someone talking to me right now? no. what about now? no. now? …”, external audio is simply not being stored. Anyone simply starts talking to me without getting my attention first - nah, the first ten seconds are gone, never to be retrieved (although if they walk up to me and start talking it may well work - I can do visual cues fine. It’s not like I was doing anything else with my visual processing system, it can hang around in input-receiving mode all day without discombobulating me).
I must say though, I don’t totally get the “saying yes on automatic” style of relating. Seems to me that this is something you could train yourself in or out of - if you’re going to say ‘yes I heard that’ then you really ought to be prepared to stand by it.
My husband can be sitting in the back room reading something online and have a kid next to him watching a YouTube and actually make sensible comments on what the YouTube is saying, while continuing to read - this seriously amazes me. I literally don’t understand how that cognitive trick works, or what it might feel like inside your brain.