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  • 1.
    Braat-Eggen, Ella
    et al.
    Avans University of Applied Sciences, Tilburg, the Netherlands; Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands .
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Hornikx, Maarten
    Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.
    Kohlrausch, Armin
    Eindhoven University of Technology, the Netherlands.
    Auditory distraction in open-plan study environments: Effects of background speech and reverberation time on a collaboration task2019In: Applied Acoustics, ISSN 0003-682X, E-ISSN 1872-910X, Vol. 154, p. 148-160Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that semantic-based tasks are negatively influenced by semantic aspects in background speech. Collaboration is an important task in open-plan study environments and is a semantic task which might be disrupted by background speech. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the influence of irrelevant background speech on student-collaboration. Participants worked in pairs to solve spot-the-difference puzzles, by using the 'DiapixUK' collaboration task, while they were exposed to different background sound scenarios. The composed sound scenarios varied in semantic content (mother tongue and foreign language background speech)and reverberation time (short vs long), the latter affecting speech intelligibility. Although a longer reverberation time decreases the intelligibility of background speech and a foreign language decreases meaningfulness of speech, no significant changes in performance were found. On the other hand, the data show an increased perceived disturbance for a longer reverberation time, which we interpret as an increased difficulty of interpersonal communication in the collaboration task due to the increased level of the background speech. The quiet reference condition was the most preferred sound condition which is in line with both the effect of a low background sound level and the absence of semantic interference. 

  • 2.
    Hurtig, Anders
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University and Department of Sports and Medicine, University of Dalarna, Sweden .
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Acoustical conditions in the classroom: Recall of spoken words in English and Swedish heard at different signal-to-noise ratios2014In: 11th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), Nara, Japan, 1-5 June, 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Hurtig, Anders
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Pekkola, Elina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Recall of spoken words in English and Swedish heard at different signal-to-noise ratios and different reverberation times: Children aged 10-11 years2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Noise impairs speech perception which in turn makes memory and learning more difficult. School children are expected to be particularly vulnerable to the negative effects of noise. In this study we varied reverberation time (RT) and signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) to see how they affected recall of words in Swedish (native tongue) and English. Participants were 72 children in the fourth grade who listened to wordlists presented in Swedish and English with broadband noise in the background. We compared two reverberation time (RT) conditions: a short RT (0.3 sec.) and a long RT (1.2 sec.), and two signal-to-noise (SNR) conditions: a low SNR (+3 dB) and a high SNR (+12 dB). Each wordlist had 8 words to be recalled. Main effects of language and SNR were found. Children could recall fewer words if they were presented in English or had a low SNR. Interactions were found between Language, RT, SNR and whether the words were at the beginning, in the middle or at the end of the wordlists. Recall performance was best with a short RT and a high SNR. Fourth graders recalled more words in their native language compared to English. Children might have difficulties with semantic association and understanding the meaning of words in English. Recall performance was markedly improved with good listening conditions, which indicates that there is something to be gained by improving the acoustical conditions in a classroom to improve memory and learning.

  • 4.
    Hurtig, Anders
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden; Department of Education, Health and Social Studies, University of Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Pekkola, Elina
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, University of Linköping, Linköping, Sweden.
    Children’s recall of words spoken in their first and second language: Effects of signal-to-noise ratio and reverberation time2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, article id 2029Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Speech perception runs smoothly and automatically when there is silence in the background, but when the speech signal is degraded by background noise or by reverberation, effortful cognitive processing is needed to compensate for the signal distortion. Previous research has typically investigated the effects of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) and reverberation time in isolation, whilst few have looked at their interaction. In this study, we probed how reverberation time and SNR influence recall of words presented in participants’ first- (L1) and second-language (L2). A total of 72 children (10 years old) participated in this study. The to-be-recalled wordlists were played back with two different reverberation times (0.3 and 1.2 sec) crossed with two different SNRs (+3 dBA and +12 dBA). Children recalled fewer words when the spoken words were presented in L2 in comparison with recall of spoken words presented in L1. Words that were presented with a high SNR (+12 dBA) improved recall compared to a low SNR (+3 dBA). Reverberation time interacted with SNR to the effect that at +12 dB the shorter reverberation time improved recall, but at +3 dB it impaired recall. The effects of the physical sound variables (SNR and reverberation time) did not interact with language.

  • 5.
    Hygge, Staffan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Nöstl, Anatole
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Keus, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Hurtig, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Acoustical conditions in the classroom II: Recall of spoken words in English and Swedish heard at different signal-to-noise ratios2013In: 42nd International Congress and Exposition on Noise Control Engineering 2013, INTER-NOISE 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life, 2013, p. 5091-5098Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    An experiment will be reported which assessed speech intelligibility and free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and in English heard under different signal-to-noise (S/N) ratios (+3 and +12 dB), and with/without the spoken words being repeated back orally directly after presentation (shadowing). All participants encountered all experimental conditions. Twelve wordlists with 12 words each were generated in English as well as in Swedish. The words were chosen according to their ranks in category norms for the two languages, and no category was the same for the two languages. Blocks of counter balanced presentation orders, S/N-ratios and shadowing/no shadowing were generated. After each wordlist the participants wrote down the words they could recall. Pre-experimental measures of working memory capacity were taken. The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the S/N-ratio was low, there was no shadowing and when the language was English. A low score on working memory capacity was expected to further enhance these effects. While writing this abstract data collection is still in progress but results will be presented at the conference.

  • 6.
    Jahncke, Helena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational Health Science and Psychology, Occupational Health Science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Viktiga frågor glöms bort i debatten om kontorslandskap2019In: Göteborgs-Posten, ISSN 1103-9345, no 18-sepArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 7.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Disruption of writing by background speech: a classroom experiment2014Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Irrelevant background speech impairs cognitive capabilities such as writing. Laboratory studies wherein participants were tested alone in sound attenuated rooms, showed that ordinary speech, even with relatively low intelligibility (Keus van de Poll, Ljung, Odelius, Sörqvist, 2014), is more distracting than meaningless speech (Sörqvist, Nöstl, & Halin, 2012). Yet, so far research has paid little attention to the manifestation of these effects in classroom environments. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of irrelevant background speech on writing in a realistic classroom setting. The hypothesis was that irrelevant background speech would have distracting effects on text production, especially on writing fluency and typing errors. In an experimental within-subjects design, college students (in groups of 10-12 participants), sitting in a classroom, were asked to write short essays (5 minutes per essay) in the software program scriptlog. One essay was written in silence and one in the presence of background speech. As expected, background speech had a (slight) effect, although more participants are needed to increase the experimental power. Comparisons with previous studies on the effects of speech on writing are made and future directions are discussed.

  • 8.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Wigö, Hans
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Sweden.
    The effect of heat stress on writing performance in a classroom2014In: Indoor Air 2014 - 13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, 2014, p. 183-188Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies have shown that heat stress impairs performance. This depends on the mental loading capacity of the task performed and the exposure time. This is a study of a common task in schools and offices: writing task. It also analyses the occupants’ perceived thermal comfort. The experiment was done in two heat conditions: 20 and 25 centigrade. The between participant design was used. ScriptLog was used to perform the writing task, while questionnaires and a Sudoku task were paper based tasks. The results show that the predicted mean vote (PMV) between conditions was significant (p<0.02) and participants perceived the 20 º C condition to be draughty. They however preferred a little more air movements in both conditions. Writing performance only showed a significant difference (p = 0.03) on deleted characters but the other variables considered did not show any significant differences but showed a strong tendency that with a long exposure time it would eventually be impaired.  This shows that writing despite being a complex task is not a high mental loading task and is not quickly impaired by heat stress.

  • 9.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system. Center for the Built Environment, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley CA, USA.
    Wigö, Hans
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    The influence of heat, air jet cooling and noise on performance in classrooms2015In: The International Journal of Ventilation, ISSN 1473-3315, E-ISSN 2044-4044, Vol. 14, no 3, p. 321-332Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The quality of indoor environments influences satisfaction, health, and work performance of the occupants. Additional understanding of the theoretical and practical value of individual indoor parameters in relation to health and performance aids indoor climate designers to obtain desired outcomes. This also results in expenditure savings and increased revenue: health care and improved productivity. Here, we report two experiments that investigated how heat, cooling strategy and background noise influence performance in a full-scale classroom mockup setting. The results show that heat and background noise are detrimental to logic-based tasks and to writing, whilst cooling manipulations can protect performance. Implications for indoor environment design are discussed.

  • 10.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Disruption of writing by background speech2018In: 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 (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.

  • 11.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Disruption of writing in noisy office environments2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall aim of the four experimental studies included in this dissertation was to investigate the influence of background speech on writing performance. In Paper I, a manipulation of speech intelligibility of background speech, by using the Speech Transmission Index (STI), revealed disruptive effects at lower STI values (i.e. with relative low speech intelligibility) than expected, based on an earlier developed model. This showed that writing is more sensitive to disruption from background speech than previously thought.

    Experiment 1 in Paper II addressed the question whether the sound of babble, sound of water waves, or pink noise is the most effective and appreciated way of masking background speech to reduce its intelligibility and thereby its disruptiveness. Masking with babble was best. Experiment 2 in Paper II followed this finding up by showing that the disruption of writing by background speech is a function of the number of voices talking in the background—less voices, more disruption.

    Paper III investigated the combined impact of background speech and task interruptions on writing performance. Background speech (which was played during the whole condition) after an interruption was expected to prolong the time it took to resume the same writing speed as before the interruption. This hypothesis was not confirmed, but participants’ self-reports showed that the combination of task interruptions and background speech convey a particularly high workload.

    Paper IV explored what role sound source location and individual differences (inattention, noise sensitivity and working memory capacity) play in the disruption of writing by background speech. Self-reports showed that speech in front of the individual was perceived as more distracting compared to speech from behind. Other results in the same study showed that high inattentive individuals profit more from less intelligible speech located behind them than attentive individuals and high noise-sensitive individuals were more distracted by highly intelligible background speech than by less intelligible background speech.

    The most important and replicable finding in this dissertation is that writing fluency is very sensitive to disruption from background speech; a finding relevant for the design of open work environments. In work areas where writing is a common task, the aim should be to create quiet work areas.

  • 12.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Effects of different types of masking on performance and the potential of multiple-voice masking2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    The effects of background speech on word processed writing2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14. Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    The effects of task interruptions and background speech on writing2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background speech and task interruptions are common place in open offices. Different studies have shown disturbing effects of background speech and task interruptions on different cognitive tasks relevant for office work.  In the present study, combined effects of task interruptions and background speech on writing were investigated. As it should take some time to continue writing after being interrupted, the present study explored the time it takes to reach the same speed of writing (words per second) as before the interruption (baseline level). One expectation was that it should take more time to reach baseline level after being interrupted when background speech was present. University students wrote different stories of five minutes per story, with presence of background speech and in silence. In half of the conditions, they were interrupted three times for thirty seconds per time by being requested to do a calculation task. Results showed that time to reach baseline level after the interruption was between 10 and 15 seconds. Background speech had an overall effect on writing performance but did not interact with interruptions.

  • 15.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Braat-Eggen, Ella
    Eindhoven University of Technology.
    Effects of background speech on cooperation2017Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 16.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Carlsson, Johannes
    Chalmers University of Technology.
    Marsh, John
    School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Odelius, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology.
    Schlittmeier, Sabine
    Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, Eichstätt, Germany .
    Sundin, Gunilla
    Norconsult AB, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Unmasking the effects of masking on performance: the potential of multiple-voice masking in the office environment2015In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 138, no 2, p. 807-816Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Broadband noise is often used as a masking sound to combat the negative consequences of background speech on performance in open-plan offices. As office workers generally dislike broadband noise, it is important to find alternatives that are more appreciated while being at least not less effective. The purpose of experiment 1 was to compare broadband noise with two alternatives—multiple voices and water waves—in the context of a serial short-term memory task. A single voice impaired memory in comparison with silence, but when the single voice was masked with multiple voices, performance was on level with silence. Experiment 2 explored the benefits of multiple-voice masking in more detail (by comparing one voice, three voices, fivevoices, and seven voices) in the context of word processed writing (arguably a more office-relevant task). Performance (i.e., writing fluency) increased linearly from worst performance in the one-voice condition to best performance in the seven-voice condition. Psychological mechanisms underpinning these effects are discussed.

  • 17.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Jahncke, Helena
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    The Effects of Irrelevant Background Speech Masked by Noise on Writing Performance2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has shown impairing effects of irrelevant speech on cognitive capabilities as, for example, reading and listening comprehension. Yet, so far research has paid little attention to how these distracters can influence text production. The aim of this study is to investigate how speech intelligibility in terms of different Speech Transmission Index (STI) values influence writing performance. The expectation is that background sound with higher STI values (i.e., when it is easier to hear what is said in the speech signal) will be more detrimental to the writing process. Moreover, the expectation is that persons with high working memory capacity (WMC) will be less distracted than persons with low WMC. In an experimental within-subjects design college students (N ~ 48) are asked to write short essays (5 minutes per essay) in the software program ScriptLog in 5 different STI conditions. Across the conditions, irrelevant background speech masked by white noise is manipulated in terms of different STI values. The essays are based on different pictures presented on a computer screen. At the beginning the participants are asked to do a working memory task (size-comparison span). The results will be presented at the conference. This study contributes to further knowledge of how different acoustical conditions influence cognitive language production processes, which is important in schools and office environments.

  • 18.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Ljung, Robert
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Odelius, Johan
    Luleå Tekniska Universitet.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Linköpings universitet.
    Disruption of writing by background speech: the role of speech transmission index2014In: Applied Acoustics, ISSN 0003-682x, Vol. 81, p. 15-18Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Speech transmission index (STI) is an objective measure of the acoustic properties of office environments and is used to specify norms for acceptable acoustic work conditions. Yet, the tasks used to evaluate the effects of varying STIs on work performance have often been focusing on memory (as memory of visually presented words) and reading tasks and may not give a complete viewof the severity even of low STI values (i.e., when speech intelligibility is low). Against this background, we used a more typical office-work task in the present study. The participants were asked to write short essays (5 min per essay) in 5 different STI conditions (0.08; 0.23; 0.34; 0.50; and 0.71). Writingfluency dropped drastically and the number of pauses longer than 5 s increased at STI values above 0.23. This study shows that realistic work-related performance drops even at low STI values and has implications for how to evaluate acoustic conditions in school and office environments. 

  • 19.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kan arbetsminne förklara varför människor med schizotypy har uppmärksamhetsproblem?2017In: Best Practice, ISSN 1329-1874, Vol. -, no AprilArticle in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Det är lätt att undvika att distraheras av det vi ser. Det räcker med att blunda. När det gäller ljud kan vi å andra sidan inte bara stänga av öronen för att slippa höra det. När vi sitter och jobbar, och inte vill höra ljud som finns i bakgrunden, registrerar hjärnan ljudet automatiskt.

    Bakgrundsljud, som kan komma från folk som pratar, telefoner som ringer och så vidare, fångar vår uppmärksamhet och gör att vi tappar fokus på den uppgift vi har framför oss. Detta kan i förlängningen leda till irritation och till försämrad prestation och hälsa.

    Att vara lättdistraherad har konsekvenser både för ens sociala beteende och för hur man fungerar på en arbetsplats eller skola. En lättdistraherad person som har sin arbetsplats i ett öppet kontorslandskap till exempel, där bakgrundsljud är mycket vanligt, presterar sämre än hen skulle göra på ett privat kontor där man generellt sett blir mindre störd. Vissa störs emellertid mer än andra. Varför är det så? En del av svaret på frågan är att människor varierar i något som kallas arbetsminneskapacitet. Arbetsminne är en minnesfunktion som används för att tillfälligt lagra och bearbeta information som vi har i medvetandet. Storleken på arbetsminnet (arbetsminneskapaciteten) kan variera mellan människor, och prestationen på många uppgifter, till exempel att läsa och skriva, beror på arbetsminneskapaciteten. Forskning har också visat att individer med låg arbetsminneskapacitet är mer lättdistraherade jämfört med individer med hög arbetsminneskapacitet.

    Distraktion, schizotypy och arbetsminne Att vara mer lättdistraherad än andra är något som människor med hög grad av schizotypy känner igen sig i. Detta gäller både för dem som har diagnosen schizofreni och för dem som inte har diagnosen men som ändå har symtomen. Människor med hög grad av schizotypy har svårare än andra att hålla kvar uppmärksamheten och förbli fokuserade på en uppgift i en bullrig miljö. Ofta har de även sämre arbetsminne än andra, vilket innebär prestationsförluster i många situationer. En hypotes har därför varit att sambandet mellan schizotypy och distraktion beror på det sämre arbetsminnet.

    I en nyligen publicerad studie1 testades denna hypotes, men det visade sig att variationer i arbetsminne inte kan förklara sambandet mellan schizotypy och distraktion. Individer som klassificerades ha ”hög grad av schizotypy” var mer distraherade av oväntade ljud under såväl en visuospatial som en verbal uppgift, jämfört med dem som klassificerades ha ”låg grad av schizotypy”. Samma mönster hittades för dem som klassificerades ha låg kontra hög arbetsminneskapacitet.

    Det intressantaste resultatet från studien var emellertid att schizotypy och arbetsminneskapacitet bidrog på olika sätt till hur lätt individerna distraherades av det överraskande ljudet. Detta innebär att olika mekanismer ligger bakom den uppmärksamhetsproblematik som är kopplad till schizotypy jämfört med den problematik som är kopplad till sämre arbetsminneskapacitet. Med andra ord verkar det som om variationer i arbetsminne inte kan förklara varför individer med hög schizotypy har uppmärksamhetsproblem.

    Exakt hur arbetsminneskapacitet och schizotypy skiljer sig åt är något som författarna till studien endast kunde spekulera om. En hypotes som är välgrundad i litteraturen är emellertid att variationer i arbetsminneskapacitet bidrar till distraherbarhet genom att påverka hur väl människor lyckas avgränsa uppmärksamhetens omfång till den uppgift de håller på med. Hög schizotypy bidrar å andra sidan genom att göra det svårare att ignorera saker i omgivningen, vilket skulle kunna bero på brister i habituering. Det innebär i det här fallet att hög schizotypy leder till svårigheter att vänja sig vid störningsfaktorn över tid, i takt med att man får allt mer erfarenhet av bakgrundsljudet.

    Slutsats

    Vi drar slutsatsen att arbetsminne och schizotypy tenderar att samvariera på ett sådant sätt att människor med hög grad av schizotypy också tenderar att ha låg arbetsminneskapacitet. Men det är inte den låga arbetsminneskapaciteten i sig som skapar uppmärksamhetsproblemen hos dessa individer. En viktig implikation av denna slutsats är att ”arbetsminnesträning” (det vill säga interventioner i form av träningsprogram som syftar till att öka arbetsminneskapaciteten) inte bör bidra till att minska uppmärksamhetsproblematiken för människor med hög grad av schizotypy.

  • 20.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building Engineering, Energy Systems and Sustainability Science, Environmental Science.
    Sjödin, Louise
    Gösta Ekman Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Nilsson, Mats
    Gösta Ekman Laboratory, Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden.
    Disruption of writing by background speech: does sound source location and number of voices matter?2019In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 33, no 4, p. 537-543Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    It is not unusual that people have to write in an environment where background speech is present. Background speech can vary in both speech intelligibility and location of the sound source. Earlier research has shown disruptive effects of background speech on writing performance. To expand and reinforce this knowledge, the present study investigated the role of number of voices and sound source location in the relation between background speech and writing performance. Participants wrote texts in quiet or in background speech existing of one or seven voices talking simultaneously, located in front of or behind them. Overall, one voice was more disruptive than seven voices talking simultaneously. Self-reports showed that sound from the front was more disruptive compared to sound from behind. Results are in line with theory of interference-by-process, attentional capture and the cross-modal theory of attention. The relevance of the results for open-office environments is discussed.

  • 21.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Buildning science - applied psychology. Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Sweden.
    Effects of speech on writing: Is there a right-ear disadvantage?2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It has been shown, with tasks specifically designed for well-controlled laboratory research, that task-irrelevant speech is more distracting when it is presented to the right ear (as right-ear presentation has privileged access to the left hemisphere that plays a dominant role in language processing). This is called the right-ear disadvantage. The purpose of this study was to investigate whether the right-ear disadvantage generalizes to more applied, less well-controlled, tasks. Students were asked to write short stories while they were hearing task-irrelevant sound, either normal or spectrally-rotated speech, which they were to ignore. The sound was either presented to the right or to the left ear. The participants produced less written text when they were exposed to normal speech in comparison with rotated speech. However, this difference was just as large when the sound was presented to the right as to the left ear. In all, the semanticity of speech seems to disrupt output writing processes, but there was no evidence of a right-ear disadvantage with this task, probably because writing is not an experimentally controlled task. This study shows that the applied consequences of right-ear disadvantage are limited.

  • 22.
    Keus van de Poll, Marijke
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Effects of task interruption and background speech on word processed writing2016In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 30, no 3, p. 430-439Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Task interruptions and background speech, both part of the everyday situation in office environments, impair cognitive performance. The current experiments explored the combined effects of background speech and task interruptions on word processed writing-arguably, a task representative of office work. Participants wrote stories, in silence or in the presence of background speech (monologues, halfalogues and dialogues), and were occasionally interrupted by a secondary task. Writing speed was comparably low during the immediate period after the interruption (Experiments 1 and 2); it took 10-15s to regain full writing speed. Background speech had only a small effect on performance (Experiment 1), but a dialogue was more disruptive than a halfalogue (Experiment 2). Background speech did not add to the cost caused by task interruptions. However, subjective measures suggested that speech, just as interruptions, contributed to perceived workload. The findings are discussed in view of attentional capture and interference-by-process mechanisms.

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