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An experiment on noise and cognition in a simulated open-plan office
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-6668-5044
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4298-7459
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)
University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology. (Miljöpsykologi)
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2010 (English)In: 39th International Congress on Noise Control Engineering 2010, INTER-NOISE 2010, Lisbon, Portugal: Portuguese acoustical society , 2010, Vol. 4, p. 2827-2836Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The aim of the present study was to investigate cognitive, emotional, and physiological effects of two background noise conditions (high noise: 51 LAeq and low noise: 39 LAeq) during work in a simulated open-plan office, followed by four restoration conditions (river movie with sound, only river sound, silence, and office noise) after the work period. Students (N = 47) went through one practice session and two experimental sessions, one each with the low and high noise conditions. In each experimental session they worked for two hours with tasks involving basic working memory processes. We also took physiological measures of stress (cortisol and catecholamine) and self-reports of mood and fatigue. The results showed that the participants remembered fewer words, rated themselves as more tired and less motivated in high noise compared to low noise. The participants showed high levels of cortisol when they arrived to the experimental session and they had a significant (p <.001) decline in both noise conditions after two hours of work. An identical decline was shown in the norepinephrine levels (p < 0.001). The restoration phase also indicated that the sound conditions may promote different restorative experiences. To conclude, the present study showed that noise level can be of importance for working memory performance and subjective feelings of tiredness and motivation in an open-plan office and that varying sound conditions may promote different restorative experiences.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lisbon, Portugal: Portuguese acoustical society , 2010. Vol. 4, p. 2827-2836
Keywords [en]
noise, open-plan office, restoration, stress, working memory
National Category
Occupational Health and Environmental Health
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hig:diva-7380Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84868644897ISBN: 9781617823961 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hig-7380DiVA, id: diva2:345198
Conference
INTER-NOISE 2010, the 39th International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering, 13-16 June, 2010, Lisbon, Portugal
Available from: 2010-08-24 Created: 2010-08-24 Last updated: 2018-12-03Bibliographically approved

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Jahncke, HelenaHygge, StaffanHalin, NiklasGreen, Anne MarieDimberg, Kent

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