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Noise sensitivity and reactions to noise and other environmental conditions

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Author: Miedema, H.M.E. · Vos, H.
Institution: Instituut voor Ruimtelijke Organisatie TNO
Source:Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 3, 113, 1492-1504
Identifier: 236995
Keywords: Acoustics and Audiology · Data reduction · Sensitivity analysis · Noise sensitivity · Acoustic noise · noise · aircraft noise · annoyance · article · environmental exposure · environmental factor · hearing · noise measurement · noise pollution · perception · priority journal · sleep disorder · traffic noise · Aircraft · Arousal · Attitude · Circadian Rhythm · Data Collection · Habituation, Psychophysiologic · Humans · Noise, Transportation · Social Environment · Sound Spectrography · Urban Development · Built Environment


This article integrates findings from the literature and new results regarding noise sensitivity. The new results are based on analyses of 28 combined datasets (N=23 038), and separate analyses of a large aircraft noise study (N=10939). Three topics regarding noise sensitivity are discussed, namely, its relationship with noise exposure, its working mechanism, and the scope of its influence. (1) A previous review found that noise sensitivity has no relationship with noise exposure. The current analyses give consistent results, and show that there is at most a very weak positive relationship. (2) It was observed earlier that noise sensitivity alters the effect of noise exposure on noise annoyance, and does not (only) have an additive effect. The current analyses confirm this, and show that the relation of the annoyance score with the noise exposure is relatively flat for nonsensitives while it is steeper for sensitives. (3) Previous studies showed that noise sensitivity also influences reactions other than noise annoyance. The current analyses of the aircraft noise study extend these results, but also indicate that noise sensitivity has relatively little influence on reactions to nonenvironmental conditions. © 2003 Acoustical Society of America.