All of us have heard of the Cocktail party effect (Lillenfield 2011), but what if we expanded the bounds of the theory? In my personal experience, we can recognize just more than our names in a crowded room. We can recognize our friends voices, commands, and other vocal stimuli.
For example, lets use my dog "Koda" as an example. I can be sitting in the other room, say "ball," "ring," or "toy" and Koda will run in happy as can be with her squeaking ball, ring-toy, or a squeaking toy. The tv, radio, or any other noises could be going on yet my dog can hear my request to play with her!
On another hand, many people can remember a time where they were walking alone down a hallway or sidewalk and hear someone's voice they know among the crowd. I remember walking in Willey after class let out and hearing a friend talking to another friend 35 feet away among the commotion of walking feet and talking people.
Lastly, what about phone ringtones? I have many times experienced the embarrassment of pulling out my phone and answering it when I hear the same ringtone in a group of people. I looked up and two other people had done the same thing! The ringtone came from someone with the same phone standing 15 feet away!
The Cocktail Party Effect is a commonplace in today's world. In my opinion it should be expanded to more than just one's name, but to many different ranging auditory stimuli.
We all remember times where we heard something, and a friend asked us, "How in the world did you hear that!?" Those who are learning about Psychology can now answer intelligently, "Oh, its something called the Cocktail Party Effect!"