ERIC Number: ED128368
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Why Does Background Noise Debilitate Simple Task Performance?
Kohfeld, David L.; Goedecke, Dennis W.
An earlier study indicated that a subject's performance on simple mental tasks, such as tracing soluble and unsoluble geometric designs and proofreading, was not affected by background noise regardless of its intensity, unpredictability, or uncontrollability. But, since background noise did have a significant effect on postnoise task performance, it was concluded that the perception of having no control debilitated the quality of postnoise performance. Later studies indicated that the intensity of the noise can influence task performance, whether it is presented prior to or during the task. The main concern of this experiment was to determine whether cognitive factors would be more influential than the intensity variable in a reaction time experiment. It was found that at 105 decibel noise levels, intensity was the crucial variable, whereas at 70 decibel levels the predictability of the background noise was of primary importance. (BW)
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Southern Illinois Univ., Edwardsville. Office of Research and Projects.
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Psychonomic Society (15th, Boston, Massachusetts, November 21, 1974)