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Year : 1999  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 69--79

A theoretical framework for environmental noise annoyance


Stallen & Smit, Gentiaanstraat 13, 6813 ES ARNHEM The Netherlands

Correspondence Address:
Pieter Jan M Stallen
Stallen & Smit, Gentiaanstraat 13, 6813 ES ARNHEM The Netherlands

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 12689501

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Noise annoyance is a phenomenon of 'mind and mood'. It is only partly determined by acoustic factors: typical noise metrics (LAeq and the like) allow only the prediction of aggregated annoyance scores (community levels) with moderate degree of precision. Many non-acoustic factors have been identified with varying degrees of association with annoyance. However, the proper identification and understanding of the role of non-acoustical factors can only be achieved on the basis of sound theories about rise and reduction of noise annoyance. This article discusses first the few systematic theories to understand the relative role of acoustic and non-acoustic factors. Then, it presents a theoretical perspective that places a major non­acoustic factor in the center: perceived control. It views noise annoyance as a form of psychological stress: disturbances may tax persons resources, and different people may use different ways of coping to deal with annoyance. The focus on perceived control also highlights that for residents exposed to environmental noise 'noise management at the source' often will be an equally important external stimulus to respond to as 'noise at the source'.






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