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Structural equation models of memory performance across noise and age
University of Gävle, Department of Education and Psychology, Ämnesavdelningen för psykologi. Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
University of Gävle, Department of Education and Psychology, Ämnesavdelningen för psykologi. Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
University of Gävle, Department of Technology and Built Environment, Ämnesavdelningen för inomhusmiljö.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4298-7459
2006 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 47, no 6, 449-460 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Competing models of declarative memory were tested with structural equation models to analyze whether a second-order latent variable structure for episodic and semantic memory was invariant across age groups and across noise exposure conditions. Data were taken from three previous experimental noise studies that were performed with the same design, procedure, and dependent measures, and with participants from four age groups (13-14, 18-20, 35-45, and 55-65 years). Two noise conditions, road traffic noise and meaningful irrelevant speech, were compared to a quiet control group. The structural models put to the test were taken from Nyberg et al. (2003), which employed several memory tests that were the same as ours and studied age-groups that partly overlapped with our groups. In addition we also varied noise exposure conditions. Our analyses replicated and supported the second-order semantic-episodic memory models in Nyberg et al. (2003). The latent variable structures were invariant across age groups, with the exception of our youngest group, which by itself showed a less clear latent structure. The obtained structures were also invariant across noise exposure conditions. We also noted that our text memory items, which did not have a counterpart in the study by Nyberg et al. (2003), tend to form a separate latent variable loading on episodic memory.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 47, no 6, 449-460 p.
Keyword [en]
Noise, irrelevant speech, memory, age groups
National Category
Applied Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-2376DOI: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2006.00556.xISI: 000242725900002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-33751085858OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-2376DiVA: diva2:119038
Available from: 2007-03-01 Created: 2007-03-01 Last updated: 2017-08-21Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Noise in the school environment: Memory and Annoyance
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Noise in the school environment: Memory and Annoyance
2004 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Objectives.The general objectives of this dissertationwere to examine the effects of acute exposure to meaningfulirrelevant speech and road traffic noise on memory performance,and to explore annoyance responses to noise exposure in theschool environment for pupils and teachers in different agegroups.

Methods. The thesis comprises seven papers, representingdifferent methodological approaches: experiments, surveystudies and interviews. In the experiments, reported in PapersI-V, 288 pupils and teachers participated in the age groups,13-14 years (n=96), 18-20 years (n=96), 35-45 years (n=48) and55-65 years (n=48). The subjects were randomly assigned to oneof three conditions: (a) meaningful irrelevant speech, (b) roadtraffic noise, and (c) silence. The equivalent sound level inthe noise conditions was set to 66 dB(A). A test batteryreflecting episodic and semantic memory were used. The surveystudies, reported in Paper VI and VII, included 207 pupils(M=13.5) and 166 teachers (M=45.9). Two separate questionnairesmainly comprising items about annoyance, noise sensitivity andstress symptoms were administered. Paper VI presents results offocus group interviews (n=16) treating the main topics:disturbing sounds, emotions, ongoing activity, and suggestionsconcerning future changes. Results. The overall findings showedthat both noise sources affected episodic and semantic memoryto the same degree for all age groups. The results indicatedthat the similarity of semantic content between noise and thetask at hand was not the only suitable explanation model, sincea non-speech noise impaired memory as much as speech.

Resultsalso indicated that attention effects did notmediate the obtained noise effects and that the noise effectsdid not differ between age groups. Therefore, it seemedunlikely that different memory and attentional capacities stoodout as explanatory factors of the memory effects. Sinceperformances of both episodic and semantic memory tasks wereimpaired, the explanation based on level of access to long-termmemory was also ruled out. However, the episodic memory task,reading comprehension, stood out to be most impaired by noise,suggesting that complexity of the task to perform was ofimportance. For reading comprehension there was also adifferent noise pattern obtained. Participants performance wasin this task, more impaired by meaningful irrelevant speechthan by road traffic noise. This effect indicated thatmeaningful irrelevant speech might reduce the availablecognitive resources necessary for learning the text. Theannoyance models derived from the survey studies indicated thatsensitivity acted as a mediator between hearing status andannoyance, with stress symptoms as an outcome. Whetherannoyance arises or not was also determined by control andpredictability of the noise. In the interviews a differentannoyance pattern was found, in that stress symptoms appearedto be a determinant of annoyance. To be involved, respected,take own responsibility and respect others were suggestions onhow to change the environment to become more silent.

Conclusions.For both pupils and teachers acute exposureto meaningful irrelevant speech and road traffic noiseinfluenced both the achieving and providing of knowledge. Acommon annoyance pattern was also found for pupils andteachers, where individual and situational factors were ofimportance. To achieve a more silent school environment in thefuture, the pupils pointed out that the interaction betweenthemselves and their teachers was of importance.

Key words:Noise, meaningful irrelevant speech, roadtraffic noise, memory, age groups, school environment, pupils,teachers

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Byggvetenskap, 2004. 59 p.
Keyword
Noise, meaningful irrelevant speech, road traffic noise, memory, age group, school environment, pupils, teachers
National Category
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-12862 (URN)91-7283-718-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2004-04-23, 00:00
Available from: 2012-09-13 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2012-09-13Bibliographically approved

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