Psychological noise is defined as an individual’s internal preoccupations, prejudices, and opinions, as well as other attributes that hinder his capacity to comprehend and communicate in a given setting. Psychological noise is an internal, as opposed to external, distraction.
According to About.com, a person’s ability to listen and understand what he hears is diminished when he is anxious about a situation. The anxiety is generating mental chatter that is distracting him from the current discourse. When a person is engaged in a conversation in which he has already formed opinions, he is less likely to hear what is being communicated in its entirety or to listen with an open mind.