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Séminaire LTDS (ENTPE) en présentiel : Individual differences in reactions to noise: An empirical study and a method to gain a comprehensive overview

Le 28 juin 2023

"Amphi du haut", ENTPE, 3 Rue Maurice Audin, 69120 Vaulx-en-Velin

Langue / language: the presentation will be in English

Présenté par : Karin Zimmer (Universität Vechta) and Wolfgang Ellermeier (Technische Universität Darmstadt)

Karin Zimmer (Universität Vechta) and Wolfgang Ellermeier (Technische Universität Darmstadt)

Résumé + biographie des orateurs, au format pdf

Individual differences in reactions to noise are substantial, but not well explained in the (psycho-)acoustical research literature. One concept invoked to address this problem is that people differ in their individual noise sensitivity which is conceptualized as a stable personality trait that modulates annoyance reactions to sounds. Noise sensitivity is assessed by questionnaires consisting of many items or by a single rating on category scale. In large-scale noise surveys (e.g., airport studies), it typically accounts for 10-26% of the variance in annoyance ratings.

In the first part of the talk, we present a laboratory study - recently conducted in collaboration with ENTPE - in which participants made annoyance ratings of vehicle sounds. When the sample was split along the median into a 'low' and 'high' noise sensitivity group, the latter turned out to produce higher annoyance ratings and more pronounced skin-conductance responses, an indicator of (psycho-)physiological stress.

It is obvious, however, that empirical studies of that sort only highlight selected aspects of a research domain (here: based on the specific noise sensitivity measure used, the operationalization of related variables, etc.), so that we felt the need to broaden our perspective. Therefore, we plan to apply a recently advocated method that comprehensively reviews the existing knowledge on the topic, i.e., a "systematic review". Systematic reviews do not only include the published research literature, but also unpublished evidence (grey literature), such as 'technical reports' produced for a company or government agency, testimony from expert advice, experiential knowledge contributed by practitioners, etc. In the second part of the talk we therefore explain, what a systematic review is, what steps are involved to perform it, what the potential pitfalls are, and what the gain is over and above that of a conventional review based on what is 'conveniently available' to the author.