Experience may influence how distracting it is to hear background noise. Kou and team share that “Previous research has shown that background auditory distractors (music and sound/noise) have a more severe impact on introverts’ performances on complex cognitive tasks than extraverts (Dobbs, Furnham, & McClelland, 2011).” The Kuo-led group partially replicated Dobbs and team’s study, with Chinese instead of English participants, finding that when “Chinese participants . . . carried out three cognitive tasks with the presence of Chinese pop songs, background office noise, and silence.
The Erickson/Newman team studied previously published research on children’s reactions to background noise. To contextualize their conclusions, they report that a whisper in a quiet library is 30 dB loud, the daytime noise levels in open bay neonatal intensive care units are about 60 dB, sound levels in occupied infant and toddler classrooms are 60-90 dB, and that the volume in a noisy restaurant is approximately 80-90 dB. The researchers report that “Despite their relatively mature auditory systems, infants and children struggle with listening in noise relative to adults, particularly wh
Research conducted by Largo-Wight, O’Hara, and Chen confirms earlier research that found that listening to nature sounds, is relaxing. The trio share that they had participants in their study listen to silence, or nature sounds (ocean waves), or classical music (Mozart) “for 15 min in an office or waiting room-like environment. . . . [statistical tests] showed a decrease in muscle tension, pulse rate, and self-reported stress in the nature group and no significant differences in the control or the classical music groups.
The National Research Council of Canada, Construction Division, has released a new edition of their Guide to Calculating Airborne Sound Transmission in Buildings. A copy is available free at the web address noted below. The introduction to the Guide reports that “The International Standards Organization (ISO) has published a calculation method, ISO 15712-1 that uses laboratory test data for sub-assemblies such as walls and floors as inputs for a detailed procedure to calculate the expected sound transmission between adjacent rooms. . . .
Lowe and Ramanathan investigated the consequences of acoustic reverberation in retail spaces. They found that “relatively higher levels of acoustic reverberation can increase a consumer’s willingness to try unfamiliar products. . . . Reverberation (reverb) refers to the prolongation of sound (Valente, Hosford-Dunn and Roeser 2008). Extremely high levels of reverberation might be understood or described as echo. . . . Reverb levels are affected by the characteristics of an environment in which a sound is made.
Bratt-Eggen and her team researched sound levels in open-plan study spaces. The investigators collected information in “five open-plan study environments at universities in the Netherlands. A questionnaire was used to investigate student tasks, perceived sound sources and their perceived disturbance, and sound measurements were performed to determine the room acoustic parameters. This study shows that 38% of the surveyed students are disturbed by background noise in an open-plan study environment.
Min and Min linked exposure to loud-ish noises and male infertility. The researchers report that they “examined an association between daytime and nocturnal noise exposures over four years . . .. and subsequent male infertility. We used the National Health Insurance Service-National Sample Cohort (2002–2013), a population-wide health insurance claims dataset. A total of 206,492 males of reproductive age (20–59 years) with no history of congenital malformations were followed up for an 8-year period. . . . Data on noise exposure was obtained from the National Noise Information System. . .
Researchers studied ties between neighborhood noise levels and body mass index.
Hearing nature sounds does indeed relax people who are stressed.
Perceptions trump reality and moods matter