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Habituation and dishabituation to speech and office noise

Banbury, S. and Berry, D. C. (1997) Habituation and dishabituation to speech and office noise. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 3 (3). pp. 181-195. ISSN 1076-898X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1037/1076-898X.3.3.181


The authors examined whether background noise can be habituated to in the laboratory by using memory for prose tasks in 3 experiments. Experiment 1 showed that background speech can be habituated to after 20 min exposure and that meaning and repetition had no effect on the degree of habituation seen. Experiment 2 showed that office noise without speech can also be habituated to. Finally, Experiment 3 showed that a 5-min period of quiet, but not a change in voice, was sufficient to partially restore the disruptive effects of the background noise previously habituated to. These results are interpreted in light of current theories regarding the effects of background noise and habituation; practical implications for office planning are discussed.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences > Department of Psychology
ID Code:4668
Uncontrolled Keywords:short-term memory; Irrelevant speech; unattended speech; working memory; changing-state; information; disruption; attention; comprehension; masking
Publisher:American Psychological Association

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