The Comparative Analysis of Aversive and Ordinary Noise.
Abstract
There is a vast amount of literature concerning the psychological and physiological effects of ordinary noise on the individual. However, few publications have addressed the analysis of aversive noise. This research analyzes three noises which produce the familiar goose flesh or chilling effect responsivity. These aversive sounds which are made by chalk squeaking on the chalkboard, fingernails on the chalkboard and rubbing styrofoam against a smooth surface are digitally compared to ordinary noise to show how these aversive sounds differ from sounds which are only annoying. This work, which uses Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) analysis is a combination with cross correlation analysis and other innovative methods to produce comparative data on noises, illustrates subtle differences between ordinary and aversive noise which may be useful for future work in acoustics or experimental psychology. The literature review shows disagreement among the numerous works on the effects of ordinary noise on human subjects. One explanation for this difference is the failure to adequately measure and define the dynamic nature of the noise used. The existing literature also establishes that a mixture of tones plus random noise is more annoying (but not aversive) than either the random noise or the tones alone. This investigation shows that one property of aversive noises is the combination of randomness plus tones which vary rapidly with time. This paper utilizes a new digital technique which improves the FFT analyzer resolution by a factor of 25. The resulting +/2 Hz accuracy facilitated the presentation of frequency variation as a function of time data. Other computer generated graphical data includes the percent harmonic deviation as a function of time, the rate of change of fundamental frequency, and the rate of change in harmonic deviation. From these dynamic data, average values are calculated which show the aversive noise to be consistently greater in mean frequency deviation, average frequency deviation rate, harmonic deviation, and harmonic deviation rate. The cross correlation analysis is used to compare aversive sounds to each other and then the aversive sounds to ordinary noise. The results show average cross correlations among aversive sounds to be 0.91 while the aversive to ordinary noise cross correlation averages 0.57. This work includes 326 computer generated graphical presentations of the dynamic properties of noise.
 Publication:

Ph.D. Thesis
 Pub Date:
 1988
 Bibcode:
 1988PhDT.......129M
 Keywords:

 Physics: Acoustics