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Type of activity and order of experimental conditions affect noise annoyance by identifiable and unidentifiable transportation noise

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Author: White, K. · Bronkhorst, A.W. · Meeter, M.
Source:Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 4, 143, 2165-2171
Identifier: 788517
doi: doi:0.1121/1.5031019
Keywords: Noise pollution · Experimental conditions · Exposure level · Identifiability · Noise annoyance · Ordering effects · Sound exposure levels · Spectral energy · Task performance · Acoustic noise


Previous studies have shown that identifiability of sound sources influence noise annoyance levels. The aim of the present experiment was to additionally study the effects of actively performing a task versus a less active pastime on noise annoyance. This was done by asking participants to perform a task (task condition) or read a magazine of their choice (no-task condition), while listening to identifiable and unidentifiable samples of transportation noise at varying sound exposure levels (55-85 ASEL). Annoyance was higher for identifiable samples (recordings) than for unidentifiable transformed samples (with equal spectral energy and envelope). Although there was no main effect of activity type on noise annoyance, for the transformed samples, an interaction was found between activity type and sound exposure levels: annoyance started lower in the no-task condition, but rose more steeply with ascending exposure levels than was the case during task performance (large effect). When assessing order effects, it was found that annoyance was higher when the task condition came first, especially for lower sound exposure levels (large effects). It is therefore concluded that the type of activity and the condition order do influence noise annoyance but in interaction with exposure levels, the type of noise and habituation. © 2018 Acoustical Society of America.