The influence of noise on the perceptions of discomfort, stress, and annoyance
The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different noise conditions on subjects’ perceptions of discomfort, stress and annoyance: standard condition (C1), environmental noise without alert sounds (C2) and environmental noise with alert sounds (C3). An experiment was designed in order to simulate the noise normally prevailing in a real working context. Fifteen undergraduate students were included (20 to 23 yrs; all female). The noise levels were fixed at 45 ± 0.3 dB(A) (C1), 60 ± 0.4 dB(A) (C2) and 68 ± 0.4 dB(A) (C3). The influence of noise on subjects’ discomfort, stress and annoyance perceptions was assessed with Visual Analogue Scales. The results demonstrated that subjects experienced higher levels of discomfort, stress and annoyance when exposed to more adverse noise conditions. In the three conditions, significant positive correlations were found between discomfort and stress levels. In C3, significant positive correlations were observed between both annoyance and discomfort with stress levels.