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Journal Article


Hygge S. Schriftenr. Ver. Wasser Boden Lufthyg. 1993; 88: 416-427.


(Copyright © 1993, Gustav Fischer Verlag)






A total of 417 students in the seventh grade, 12-14 old, took part in three 15 min learning sessions in their ordinary class-rooms. Their task was to read a text, and they were tested one week later with difficult recall questions and less difficult recognition items on the text. The first session was a pretest for their learning abilities. This session was run in ambient noise conditions and all the students read the very same text. The scores from this session were employed to split the pupils along the median into two groups of learning ability. Sessions two and three were counterbalanced as a noise condition or an ambient noise condition. In these sessions two other texts were employed, and they appeared equally often under the noise and ambient conditions, as well as under the two different presentation orders. Three subgroups of the pupils were exposed to aircraft noise, train noise and road-traffic noise. The noise types were of the same equivalent level (66 dB(A) Leq) in all subgroups. The design of the study permitted two different analyses of long-term learning. First, in a within subject analysis, the difference scores between the noise and ambient noise conditions in session 2 and 3 were calculated, and crossed with learning ability (high and low) and type of noise. In a second between subject analysis, the difference scores in session 1 and 2 were crossed with the group factor whether they had noise or ambient conditions in session 2, and the ability and noise type factors. Both analyses yielded the same results. Noise impaired long-term recall of the difficult items. Degree of impairment on the recall items did not interact with noise source or learning ability. The average impairment due to aircraft and road traffic noise was around 23% of the scores. Train noise had no effect. For the easy recognition items there were no effects of noise exposure, nor of its interaction with noise source and learning ability. Since the number of pages read did not differ between noise and ambient conditions, an explanation in terms of distraction is ruled out. The results are discussed in terms of arousal and cognitive overload.

Language: de


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