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Psychological Methods for Evaluating Sound Quality and Assessing Acoustic Information

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This paper reviews the psychological methods which are commonly used for evaluating sound quality and assessing acoustic information suitable for certain tasks. It first discusses definitions of and distinctions between the terms sensation, information, perception, and perceiving. Sound quality has three main aspects: (1) stimulus-response compatibility, (2) Pleasantness of sounds, and (3) identifiability of sounds or sound sources. In contrast to the large number of experiments concerning visual stimulus-response compatibility effects and their application to the design of man-machine systems, this topic has been neglected in sound quality research. The pleasantness aspect of sound design is commonly evaluated by means of unidimensional rating scales, and the identification aspect by means of decision times in recognition tasks and multidimensional scaling techniques as well. The paper concludes in presenting technical details of unidimensional and multidimensional scaling, especially of the widely used Semantic Differential.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 1997

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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