ERIC Number: ED264474
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Collegiate Learning and the Dormitory Environment: Relative Effects of Dorm Noise, Rock and Roll, Television Audio, and Sounds of Nature.
McKenna, Ralph J.
A newer discipline called environmental psychology has begun to study the effects of noise, particularly on task performance and reactional behavior. In the 1970's college dormitories liberalized their living conditions; this led to fewer quiet hours. College students may not move off campus to find a quiet environment for studying. Dormitory students deal with the noise by studying elsewhere or drowning out outside noise with their own stereo or television. It was hypothesized that college students attempting to study under various audio environments would evaluate material and author less favorably and make more errors as their ability to control the environment decreased. Female subjects (N=64) volunteered. A dormitory situation was simulated with recorded noises: (1) dormitory noise; (2) rock and roll music; (3) television; (4) bird sounds; and (5) silence. Subjects were given a psychology chapter to read. The participants rated their evaluations of the informativeness of the chapter, the quality of the writing, their liking of the chapter, and their liking of the author. Quiz performance was scored. The results showed that the dorm noise group scored significantly lower in all comparisons. Rock and roll and television noise did not affect comparisons. This research might point out the need for dormitories to be quiet in order to ensure quality of study. A floor plan of the simulated dorm used for the experiment is included. (ABL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwestern Psychological Association (29th, San Antonio, TX, April 21-23, 1983).