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Annoyance and Performance Effects of Nearby Speech

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Twenty-four subjects were engaged in three different tasks in a laboratory experiment: a difficult proof reading task and a logic test both with high demands on concentration and a simpler letter sorting task. The subjects were told to perform at their maximum in all tasks. Each task was performed during four 15 min periods while exposed to different types of noise, a broadband noise at 40 or 50 dB(A), or a background speech at 40 or 50 dB(A). A 5 minutes pause was inserted between the work periods. Subjects rated their performance, annoyance and effort during each period. Annoyance and effort ratings were higher and performance ratings lower in the speech than in the broadband noise condition and this effect was more pronounced during the two verbal tests. Annoyance and effort but not rated performance were affected by noise level. In contrast, actual performance was only impaired by the speech during the simple manual sorting test.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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