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Open Access The Effects of Speech Intelligibility on Work Performance in Chinese Open-Plan Offices: A Laboratory Study

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The language used in an environment is a significant factor when examining the effects of speech intelligibility on work performance and acoustic comfort in open-plan offices. A laboratory experiment has been carried out in this paper to study the effects of speech noise and STI values in a Chinese open-plan office environment. Four cognitive tasks were tested in the experiment, and the objective performance and subject perceptions of 38 participants were examined under 5 different acoustic conditions. The results demonstrate the significant negative effects of speech noise on participants' objective performance of serial recall task and subjective feelings about workplace (including perceived performance, work load, sound disturbance and acoustic comfort), and all these negative effects become stronger with the increase of STI. In addition, participants' subjective perceptions are found to be more sensitive to the change of acoustic condition than their objective performance. Moreover, a comparison of these results and those of previous studies in non-Chinese environments shows there are some differences in the effects of speech noise and STI between Chinese and non-Chinese environments and therefore demonstrates again the importance of taking into consideration of language environment in the analysis of open-plan office acoustic problems.

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2019

This article was made available online on December 20, 2018 as a Fast Track article with title: "The effects of speech intelligibility on work performance in Chinese open-plan offices: a laboratory study".

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  • 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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