Emotion and meaning in interpretation of sound sources
Paper i proceeding, 2008

Research regarding the perception of sound focuses in large on the acoustical properties of the sound. We argue that, for a more complete picture of sound perception, one must take the non-physical properties into account. By changing the emotional descriptor of a sound the perception in terms of level of annoyance will change. The present study investigates how a priming picture placing the origin of the sound to either a positive or negative environment affects the level of annoyance to same sound. 3 different sounds were used in the experiment, all based on pink noise. The participants were in the beginning of each sound exposed to a picture telling where the sound originated. The picture was either a positive environment (a picture of a waterfall) or a negative environment (a picture of a larger factory). While listening to the sounds the participants completed different performance tasks. In the end of each sound the participants rated level of annoyance to the sound. Results show that the annoyance ratings are significantly lower when primed with a positive picture. Results also indicate that for more attention demanding tasks this correlation is stronger. The findings are discussed in relation to theories of sound perception.


Sound character

emotional response


source meaning


Penny Bergman

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Teknisk akustik

Daniel Västfjäll

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Teknisk akustik

Niklas Fransson

Chalmers, Energi och miljö, Installationsteknik

Anders Sköld

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Teknisk akustik

7th European Conference on Noise Control 2008, EURONOISE 2008, Paris, France, 29 June - 4 July 2008

2226-5147 (ISSN)




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