hig.sePublications
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Disruption of writing by background speech
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8311-2478
2018 (English)In: FALF KONFERENS 2018 Arbetet – problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö?   10-12 juni 2018 Gävle: Program och abstracts / [ed] Lindberg, Per, Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2018, p. 49-Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Aim

The aim of this contribution is to review parts of the knowledge gathered so far about the effects of background speech on writing performance and to discuss the implications for open-plan offices.

Background

Irrelevant background speech is amongst the most often mentioned sources of annoyance at work and it can impair writing performance. Thus, performance and health are challenged when working in open-plan offices wherein background sound is commonplace. To investigate the effects of irrelevant background speech on writing in a more detailed way, five studies were done. Study one investigated whether the semantic properties of the irrelevant background speech contribute to disruption of writing processes. A follow-up study investigated the relationship between Speech Transmission Index and writing fluency. In study three, Experiment 1 explored the appreciation and effectiveness of several ways of masking background speech. Experiment 2 studied whether background speech from simultaneous talkers (i.e. 3, 5 and 7 talkers compared to 1 single talker) lead to distraction. Study four investigated the combined effects of task interruptions caused by task shifting and task interruptions caused by background speech. The fifth study investigated whether sound source location and inattention could modulate the relation between background speech and writing fluency.

Methods

All studies had experimental within-subject designs. Participants wrote stories while they were exposed to different sound conditions.

Results

Study one revealed that meaningful speech disrupted writing performance compared to meaningless rotated speech and quiet. Study two showed that disruption kicks in with relatively low speech intelligibility. In Experiment 1 in study three, the most effective and appreciated way of masking background speech was with multiple voices and Experiment 2 revealed that performance was worst with 1 background voice and best with 7 voices. Study four showed that it took 10-15 seconds to reach the same writing speed after an interruption as before. In study five, results showed that high inattentive individuals might profit from low intelligible background speech located behind them. Self-reports revealed that speech coming from the front was perceived as more distracting compared to speech coming from behind.

Conclusions

The most important result is that writing fluency is highly sensitive to the intelligibility of background speech. This suggests that the designs of noisy work environments should be adjusted for the tasks that have to be executed. Writing should be done in a quiet environment with minimal risks for task interruptions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Gävle: Gävle University Press , 2018. p. 49-
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-28851ISBN: 978-91-88145-28-4 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-28851DiVA, id: diva2:1271488
Conference
FALF 2018 konferens 'Arbetet - problem eller potential för en hållbar livsmiljö?', 10-12 juni 2018, Gävle
Available from: 2018-12-17 Created: 2018-12-17 Last updated: 2018-12-17Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Program and Abstracts

Authority records BETA

Keus van de Poll, Marijke

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Keus van de Poll, Marijke
By organisation
Environmental psychology
Occupational Health and Environmental Health

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 13 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • sv-SE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • de-DE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf