A referential listener is a person who listens to something and is instantly reminded of something else. The most common type of referential listening is listening to a song and having the music bring up a memory.
Referential listeners often conjure up images, feelings or even specific situations when they hear a particular sound, such a song. Some people get so caught up in the memories the music invokes, it becomes hard for them to concentrate on the music. The memories music conjures up may be good or bad, but for some, they elicit a very emotional response. Referential listening is often combined with other forms of listening, such as emotional listening or reminiscent listening.