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  • 1.
    Ball, Linden J.
    et al.
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Threadgold, Emma
    University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Christensen, Bo T.
    Copenhagen Business School, Copenhagen, Denmark.
    The effects of stimulus complexity and conceptual fluency on aesthetic judgments of abstract art: Evidence for a default–interventionist account2018In: Metaphor and Symbol, ISSN 1092-6488, E-ISSN 1532-7868, Vol. 33, no 3, p. 235-252Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We report an experiment investigating how stimulus complexity and conceptual fluency (i.e., the ease of deriving meaning) influence aesthetic liking judgments for abstract artworks. We presented participants with paintings at two levels of complexity (high vs. low) and five levels of conceptual fluency (determined from a prior norming study) and requested separate ratings of beauty and creativity. Our predictions were derived from the PIA Model (Pleasure-Interest Model of Aesthetic Liking), which views aesthetic preferences as being formed by two, distinct fluency-based processes: an initial, automatic, stimulus-driven, default process and a subsequent, perceiver-driven deliberative process. A key trigger for deliberative processing is assumed to be disfluency at the default stage, as caused by factors such as visual complexity. We predicted that complexity and conceptual fluency would interact in determining aesthetic liking, with people preferring complex stimuli, but only when these are relatively easy to process conceptually. Our results supported this prediction for beauty judgments, although creativity judgments showed a curiously uniform profile. Nevertheless, the predictive capacity of the PIA Model in relation to beauty judgments attests to the explanatory strength of this default?interventionist theory of aesthetic liking. We conclude by noting important parallels between the PIA Model and the Revised Optimal Innovation Hypothesis, which likewise has broad reach in explaining how defaultness and non-defaultness affect pleasure across a range of linguistic and pictorial stimuli.

  • 2.
    Basner, Mathias
    et al.
    Department of Psychiatry, Division of Sleep and Chronobiology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.
    Brink, Mark
    Federal Office for the Environment, Noise and NIR Division, Bern, Switzerland.
    Bristow, Abigail
    School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom.
    de Kluizenaar, Yvonne
    Department of Urban Environment and Safety, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Delft, Netherlands.
    Finegold, Lawrence
    Finegold & So, Consultants, 1167 Bournemouth Court, Centerville, Ohio 45459, USA.
    Hong, Jiyoung
    Eco-Transport Research Division, Korea Railroad Research Institute, Republic of Korea.
    Janssen, Sabine A.
    Department of Urban Environment and Safety, The Netherlands Organization for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Delft, Netherlands.
    Klaeboe, Ronny
    Department of Safety, Security and Environment, Institute of Transport Economics (TØI), Oslo, Norway.
    Leroux, Tony
    School of Speech Language and Audiology, University of Montreal, Montréal (Québec), Canada.
    Liebl, Andreas
    Department of Acoustics, Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics IBP, Stuttgart, Germany.
    Matsui, Toshihito
    Department of Environmental Engineering, Hokkaido University, Japan.
    Schwela, Dieter
    University of York, Environment Department, Stockholm Environment Institute, York, United Kingdom.
    Sliwinska-Kowalska, Mariola
    Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine, Poland.
    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.
    ICBEN Review of Research on the Biological Effects of Noise 2011-20142015In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 17, no 75, p. 57-82Article, review/survey (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The mandate of the International Commission on Biological Effects of Noise (ICBEN) is to promote a high level of scientific research concerning all aspects of noise-induced effects on human beings and animals. In this review, ICBEN team chairs and co-chairs summarize relevant findings, publications, developments, and policies related to the biological effects of noise, with a focus on the period 2011-2014 and for the following topics: Noise-induced hearing loss; nonauditory effects of noise; effects of noise on performance and behavior; effects of noise on sleep; community response to noise; and interactions with other agents and contextual factors. Occupational settings and transport have been identified as the most prominent sources of noise that affect health. These reviews demonstrate that noise is a prevalent and often underestimated threat for both auditory and nonauditory health and that strategies for the prevention of noise and its associated negative health consequences are needed to promote public health.

  • 3.
    Bell, Raoul
    et al.
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Röer, Jan P.
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Storch, Dunja
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    Buchner, Axel
    Department of Experimental Psychology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany.
    The Effect of Cognitive Control on Different Types of Auditory Distraction2017In: Experimental psychology (Göttingen), ISSN 1618-3169, E-ISSN 2190-5142, Vol. 64, no 5, p. 359-368Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Deviant as well as changing auditory distractors interfere with short-term memory. According to the duplex model of auditory distraction, the deviation effect is caused by a shift of attention while the changing-state effect is due to obligatory order processing. This theory predicts that foreknowledge should reduce the deviation effect, but should have no effect on the changing-state effect. We compared the effect of foreknowledge on the two phenomena directly within the same experiment. In a pilot study, specific foreknowledge was impotent in reducing either the changing-state effect or the deviation effect, but it reduced disruption by sentential speech, suggesting that the effects of foreknowledge on auditory distraction may increase with the complexity of the stimulus material. Given the unexpected nature of this finding, we tested whether the same finding would be obtained in (a) a direct preregistered replication in Germany and (b) an additional replication with translated stimulus materials in Sweden.

  • 4.
    Boman, Tomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work. Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Danermark, Berth
    Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Boman, Eva
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Can people with disabilities gain from education?: Similarities and differences between occupational attainment among persons with and without disabilities2014In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 49, no 2, p. 193-204Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background: More knowledge is needed ofoccupational attainment of persons with disabilities, i.e. the relationship between their educational level and their profession, and factors of importance for this relationship.

    Objective: To compare occupational attainment among persons with and without a disability.

    Method: 3 396 informants with disabilities and 19 004 non-disabled informants participated (control group) in a survey study by Statistics Sweden.The informants with disabilities were divided into six groups.

    Results: Occupational attainment did not differ between the disability groups, neither between persons with and without a disability. Follow-up analysis showed that men with disabilities with primary or secondary school had an occupation above their educational level to a significantlylarger extent than women with disabilities. This pattern was even clearer in comparison with the control group. Persons without disabilities, with secondary or higher education, were more successful in the labor market than persons with disabilities. Occupational attainment increased with age in both groups.

    Conclusions: Young women with disabilities who only have primary or secondary education run a higher risk of having a job that is below their educational level than men at the same educational level. This indicates discriminating mechanisms in the society related to gender and ability.

  • 5.
    Boman, Tomas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Social work. Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Kjellberg, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Danermark, Berth
    Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden.
    Boman, Eva
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Social Work and Psychology, Psychology.
    Employment opportunities for persons with different types of disability2015In: Alter;European Journal of Disability Research ;Journal Europeen de Recherche Sur le Handicap, ISSN 1875-0672, E-ISSN 1875-0680, Vol. 9, no 2, p. 116-129Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The employment status of groups with different disabilities wasanalysed as were potentially important moderating factors (workability, structural and individual factors). A secondary analy-sis was performed on 4359 respondents with disabilities fromStatistics Sweden's Labour Market Investigation. The respondentswere divided into six disability groups (communicative-hearing,communicative-speech-reading, communicative-vision, psycho-logical disability, medical disability, physical disability). Logisticregression analyses showed that the probability of being employedwas highest among respondents with hearing disabilities andrespondents with psychological disabilities were least likely tobe employed. Being a woman (very young or old) with onlyprimary education and with partially or very impaired workability, reduced employment opportunities. Higher education didnot increase employment opportunities for respondents withimpaired work ability. In summary, the type of disability is essentialfor employment opportunities, and differences between disabil-ity groups cannot be explained by differences in other variables. 

  • 6.
    Campbell, T. A.
    et al.
    Department of Psychology and Logopedics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Helsinki, Helsinki, Finland.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Commentary: Donepezil enhances understanding of degraded speech in Alzheimer's disease2018In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, ISSN 1663-4365, E-ISSN 1663-4365, Vol. 10, article id 197Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Chérif, Lobna
    et al.
    Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Canada.
    Wood, Valerie
    Royal Military College of Canada, Kingston, Canada.
    Marois, Alexandre
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Labonté, Katherine
    École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Vachon, François
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. École de psychologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada.
    Multitasking in the military: Cognitive consequences and potential solutions2018In: Applied Cognitive Psychology, ISSN 0888-4080, E-ISSN 1099-0720, Vol. 32, no 4, p. 429-439Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Multitasking-the performance of several tasks at the same time-is becoming increasingly prevalent in workplaces. Multitasking is known to disrupt performance, particularly in complex and dynamic situations, which is exactly what most military occupations entail. Because military errors can be consequential, the detrimental impact of multitasking on cognitive functioning in such contexts should be taken seriously. This review pertains to high-consequence military occupations that require strong multitasking skills. More specifically, it highlights cognitive challenges arising from different forms of multitasking and discusses their underlying cognitive processes. Because such challenges are not expected to diminish, this review proposes context-relevant solutions to decrease occupational workload, either by reducing the cognitive load ensuing from the to-be-performed tasks or by improving soldiers' multitasking abilities. To ensure effective implementation of these solutions, we stress the need to design context-adapted tools and procedures, and to guide human resource managers in developing particular strategies.

  • 8.
    Ellis, Rachel
    et al.
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    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.
    Zekveld, Adriana
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Section Ear and Hearing, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Amsterdam Public Health Research Institute, VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, Netherlands.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Editorial: Cognitive hearing mechanisms of language understanding: Short- and long-term perspectives2017In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, p. 1-4, article id 1060Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 9.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Eco-label effects in the built environment: does labeling a light source environmentally friendly influence performance and judgement?2018In: SAGE Open, ISSN 2158-2440, E-ISSN 2158-2440, Vol. 8, no 2Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 10.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Morally “loaded” labels influence product perception and social judgement2018In: Article in journal (Other academic)
  • 11.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Psychological consequences of moral labelling in the built environment2018Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Climate change is strongly linked to human behavior and technologies, and many of the barriers to sustainable behavior are rather psychological than technological. More sustainable technologies and food products have been introduced to combat climate change, most often labeled with morally loaded labels such as “organic” or “environmentally friendly”. The purpose of this thesis was, first, to gain knowledge into the psychological consequences of the introduction of eco-friendly technologies in the built environment, specifically how labeling these products “eco-friendly” influences perception and performance; secondly, to identify underlying psychological mechanisms and limits of this eco-label effect. Study 1 showed that participants generally prefer the taste of consumables labeled eco-friendly compared to conventional labeled alternatives, but the study also found that the label-effect is limited to certain products and certain judgmental dimensions. Results in this study also showed that people believe that eco-labeled products have positive effects on mental abilities. In Study 2 and 3, the focus was to study the effects of eco-labeling in the built environment on performance in cognitively demanding tasks, such as color discrimination and proofreading. At this point, the eco-label effect had been shown across a wide range of products like food, water, and office technologies, and been generalized to a wide range of judgmental dimensions and behaviors (i.e. taste, nutrition health benefits, comfortableness, and mental performance). In Study 4, results showed that eco-labeling can have effects also on behavior that arguably have very little to do with the labeling itself, by showing that social perception of photographed persons can also depend on the labeling of desktop lamps. A consistent finding across the studies was also that individual differences in environmental concern modulated the magnitude of the effect. The magnitude was larger in people with higher concern for the environment.

  • 12.
    Haga, Andreas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Halin, Niklas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    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.
    Psychological restoration can depend on stimulus-source attribution: a challenge for the evolutionary account?2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, article id 1831Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Visiting or viewing nature environments can have restorative psychological effects, while exposure to the built environment typically has less positive effects. A classic view is that this difference in restorative potential of nature and built environments depends on differences in the intrinsic characteristics of the stimuli. In addition, an evolutionary account is often assumed whereby restoration is believed to be a hardwired response to nature’s stimulus-features. Here, we propose the novel hypothesis that the restorative effects of a stimulus do not entirely depend on the stimulus-features per se, but also on the meaning that people assign to the stimulus. Participants conducted cognitively demanding tests prior to and after a brief pause. During the pause, the participants were exposed to an ambiguous sound consisting of pink noise with white noise interspersed. Participants in the “nature sound-source condition” were told that the sound originated from a nature scene with a waterfall; participants in the “industrial sound-source condition” were told that the sound originated from an industrial environment with machinery; and participants in the “control condition” were told nothing about the sound origin. Self-reported mental exhaustion showed that participants in the nature sound-source condition were more psychologically restored after the pause than participants in the industrial sound-source condition. One potential interpretation of the results is that restoration from nature experiences depends on learned, positive associations with nature; not only on hardwired responses shaped by evolution.

  • 13.
    Haga, Andreas
    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.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hansla, André
    Göteborgs universitet.
    An eco-label effect in the built environment: Performance and comfort effects of labeling a light source environmentally friendly2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    People tend to idealize eco-labeled products, but can eco-labeling have consequences for performance To address this question, 48 university students were asked to undertake a color discrimination task adjacent to a desktop lamp that was either labeled “environmentally friendly” or “conventional” (although they were identical). The light of the lamp labeled “environmentally friendly” was rated as more comfortable. Notably, task performance was also better when the lamp was labeled “environmentally friendly”. Individual differences in environmental concern, but not pro-environmental consumer behavior and social desirability indexes, were related to the magnitude of the eco-label effect on performance. Whilst some previous studies have shown similar placebo-like effects of eco-labels on subjective ratings, this is the first study to show an eco-label effect for artifacts in the built environment on performance, and the first study to relate this effect to environmental concern. Psychological mechanisms that may underpin the eco-label effects are discussed.

  • 14.
    Halin, Niklas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    A Shield against Distraction from Environmental Noise2016Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Working in noisy environments can be detrimental to cognitive performance. In order to perform well people have to find a way to attenuate distraction. This thesis aimed to study the balance between distractibility and task demands in the context of office-related tasks as a means by which to better understand how people in the work environment are influenced by environmental noise.

    In Report 1, 2 and 3 higher focal-task difficulty was achieved by manipulating the readability of the text that participants were asked to read (i.e. either displaying the text in hard-to-read font or by masking it with static visual noise). The results of Report 1 and Report 2 showed that background speech impaired performance on proofreading and memory for written stories respectively compared to silence, but only when the focaltask difficulty was low, not when it was high.

    In Report 3 it was shown that background speech, road traffic noise, and aircraft noise impaired performance on text memory compared to silence, but again, only when focal-task difficulty was low.

    In Report 4 it was tested whether higher cognitive load on the focal task would reduce peripheral processing of a to-be-ignored background story. The results of Report 4 showed that participants in the low-load condition recalled more of the information conveyed in the to-be-ignored background story compared to participants in the high-load condition. It was also investigated whether individual differences in working memory capacity (WMC) would influence participants’ memory for written stories (Report 2) and incidental memory of the to-background story (Report 4) differently depending on task demand.

    The results showed that individuals scoring high on the WMC-test were less distracted by background speech in the easy-to-read font condition (Report 2), and recalled less of the information in the to-be-ignored background story in the low-cognitive load condition (Report 4) compared to individuals that scored lower on the WMC-test. These relationships were not found in the hard-to-read font condition in Report 2, or in the high-cognitive load condition in Report 4. Taken together, these results indicate that higher focal-task difficulty can shield against the detrimental effect environmental noise on performance on office-related tasks. Moreover, it shows that higher focal-task difficulty can help individuals with low-WMC to reach a level of performance that is similar to that of high-capacity individuals.

  • 15.
    Halin, Niklas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Distracted While Reading? Changing to A Hard-to-read Font Shields against the Effects of Environmental Noise and Speech on Text Memory2016In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 7, article id 1196Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to investigate the distractive effects of background speech, aircraft noise and road traffic noise on text memory and particularly to examine if displaying the texts in a hard-to-read font can shield against the detrimental effects of these types of background sounds. This issue was addressed in an experiment where 56 students read shorter texts about different classes of fictitious creatures (i.e., animals, fishes, birds, and dinosaurs) against a background of the aforementioned background sounds respectively and silence. For half of the participants the texts were displayed in an easy-to-read font (i.e., Times New Roman) and for the other half in a hard-to-read font (i.e., Haettenschweiler). The dependent measure was the proportion correct answers on the multiple-choice tests that followed each sound condition. Participants’ performance in the easy-to-read font condition was significantly impaired by all three background sound conditions compared to silence. In contrast, there were no effects of the three background sound conditions compared to silence in the hard-to-read font condition. These results suggest that an increase in task demand - by displaying the text in a hard-to-read font - shields against various types of distracting background sounds by promoting a more steadfast locus-of-attention and by reducing the processing of background sound. 

  • 16.
    Halin, Niklas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Higher task difficulty shields against the effects of road traffic noise and air traffic noise on recall for written text2016Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 17.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Gävle.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Central load reduces peripheral processing: evidence from incidental memory of background speech2015In: Scandinavian Journal of Psychology, ISSN 0036-5564, E-ISSN 1467-9450, Vol. 56, no 6, p. 607-612Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Is there a trade-off between central (working memory) load and peripheral (perceptual) processing? To address this question, participants were requested to undertake an n-back task in one of two levels of central/cognitive load (i.e., 1-back or 2-back) in the presence of a to-be-ignored story presented via headphones. Participants were told to ignore the background story, but they were given a surprise memory test of what had been said in the background story, immediately after the n-back task was completed. Memory was poorer in the high central load (2-back) condition in comparison with the low central load (1-back) condition. Hence, when people compensate for higher central load, by increasing attentional engagement, peripheral processing is constrained. Moreover, participants with high working memory capacity (WMC)—with a superior ability for attentional engagement—remembered less of the background story, but only in the low central load condition. Taken together, peripheral processing—as indexed by incidental memory of background speech—is constrained when task engagement is high.

  • 18.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Central Lanchashire.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    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. Linköping University.
    Effects of speech on proofreading: can task-engagement manipulations shield against distraction?2014In: Journal of experimental psychology. Applied, ISSN 1076-898X, E-ISSN 1939-2192, Vol. 20, no 1, p. 69-80Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article reports 2 experiments that examine techniques to shield against the potentially disruptive effects of task-irrelevant background speech on proofreading. The participants searched for errors in texts that were either normal (i.e., written in Times New Roman font) or altered (i.e., presented either in Haettenschweiler font or in Times New Roman but masked by visual noise) in 2 sound conditions: a silent condition and a condition with background speech. Proofreading for semantic/contextual errors was impaired by speech, but only when the text was normal. This effect of speech was completely abolished when the text was written in an altered font (Experiment 1) or when it was masked by visual noise (Experiment 2). There was no functional difference between the 2 ways to alter the text with regard to the way the manipulations influenced the effects of background speech on proofreading. The results indicate that increased task demands, which lead to greater focal-task engagement, may shield against the distracting effects of background speech on proofreading. 

  • 19.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. Preston University.
    Hellman, Anna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Hellström, Ida
    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. Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden .
    A shield against distraction2014In: Journal of Applied Research in Memory and Cognition, ISSN 2211-3681, E-ISSN 2211-369X, Vol. 3, no 1, p. 31-36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper, we apply the basic idea of a trade-off between the level of concentration and distractibility to test whether a manipulation of task difficulty can shield against distraction. Participants read, either in quiet or with a speech noise background, texts that were displayed either in an easy-to-read or a hard-to-read font. Background speech impaired prose recall, but only when the text was displayed in the easy-to-read font. Most importantly, recall was better in the background speech condition for hard-to-read than for easy-to-read texts. Moreover, individual differences in working memory capacity were related to the magnitude of disruption, but only in the easy-to-read condition. Making a task more difficult can sometimes facilitate selective attention in noisy work environments by promoting focal-task engagement. 

  • 20.
    Halin, Niklas
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. University of Gävle.
    Marsh, John
    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.
    Higher Task Difficulty Shields Against Background Speech2015Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Performance on visual-verbal tasks is generally impaired by task-irrelevant background speech, which can have consequences for individuals who works in noisy environments (e.g., schools or offices). This study examined the role increased task difficulty plays in shielding against the effects of background speech. This issue was addressed across 4 experiments whereby the level of task difficulty on visual-verbal tasks was manipulated (e.g., by changing the font of a text to one that is harder to read). Experiments 1 to 3 qualified the general finding: that background speech impairs performance on visual-verbal tasks (proofreading and prose memory), but only when task difficulty was low, not when it was high. Moreover, experiment 4 demonstrates that higher task difficulty on the focal task (n-back) also reduces recall on a surprise memory test on the content of a to-be-ignored background story. These results suggest that an increase in task difficulty, which promotes greater task engagement, can shield against the detrimental effects of background speech and also constrain the processing of complex semantic information present in background speech. 

  • 21.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Psychological benefits of green buildings2016Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Some studies suggest that environmentally certified buildings may have psychological benefits for their occupants (e.g., higher perceived overall comfort and greater work place satisfaction). In my coming paper, I aim to investigate whether people will perceive a room as more comfortable and satisfactory following information regarding a bogus environmentally certification of the building in which the room are situated. The research procedure will consist of two conditions (i.e., one experimental and one control condition) and two measurements. Both conditions will first receive a questionnaire before a lecture regarding a survey exploring how students perceive the indoor environment in a classroom in which they are in, the questionnaire will also contain questions about environmental concern and pro-environmental. One month later the participants in the experimental condition will receive the exact same questionnaire but with complementary information telling them that the room has in the past month undergone certain interventions leading to an environmental certification, whereas the control condition will receive the exact same questionnaire again. The hypothesis is that the participants in the experimental condition will perceive the room as more comfortable compared to the control condition. An intriguing research question is if the participants in the experimental condition will score higher on pro-environmental behavior intentions and on environmental concern compared to the control condition, if this is the case it will have implications for previous studies showing that occupants of environmentally certified buildings have greater environmental concern compared to occupants in conventional buildings. Finally, the results will both methodologically and theoretically deepen the understanding about why “green” buildings can have psychological benefits.          

  • 22.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    The Comfort Advantage in “Green” Buildings: A Reflection of Biased Self-Reports?2017Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Introduction: Just calling a food product or an artifact “eco-friendly” is enough to make individuals believe that the products have superior features compared to an objectively identical alternative labeled conventional (e.g., Sörqvist et al. 2013). Research show that occupants are more comfortable in “green” buildings (Kim, Hwang, Lee & Corser, 2015), if these self-reports are influenced by the “green” label are still unclear. The purpose of this paper was to extend this eco-label effect even further, namely to buildings. Participants in the environmentally framed condition rated the room as more comfortable to the room framed as conventional. Practical implications and suggestions for future research are discussed.

    Theoretical background: Research in environmental psychology have shown that people assign higher taste-ratings to a food-product that is labeled as eco-friendly compared to a conventional alternative, even though the two products are in fact identical. This preference bias has been shown with various products. For example coffee (Sörqvist et al. 2013), bananas (Sörqvist et al. 2015), wine (Wiedmann, 2014), and lamps (Sörqvist, Haga, Holmgren & Hansla, 2015). The purpose of this study was to investigate whether there exist a preference bias for “green” compared to conventional buildings

    Method: Thirty five university students participated in the study (16 women), with a mean age of 28.06 years (SD = 10.22), ranging from 18 years to 62 years.

    The study took place in two rooms, the participants were told that one room was run by an environmentally certified system, whereas the other room was run by a conventional system.

    They were then asked to assign comfort ratings to both rooms.

    A within design will be used with informational framing as the independent variable. The dependent variable was general comfort.

    Results: The participants perceived the "green" room (M = 6.11, SD = 2.06) as more comfortable than the "conventional" room (M = 5.40, SD = 1.63), even though the two rooms were identical, t(34) = 2.03, p = .050.

    Conclusion: Future studies investigating psychological benefits of “green” buildings should control for this preference bias, for example by not letting the participants know if the building is “green” or conventional. Also investigate potential methods regarding how to maximize this effect. 

  • 23.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Andersson, Hanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Industrial Development, IT and Land Management, Decision, Risk and Policy Analysis.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Averaging bias in environmental impact estimates: Evidence from the negative footprint illusion2018In: Journal of Environmental Psychology, ISSN 0272-4944, E-ISSN 1522-9610, Vol. 55, p. 48-52Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we argue that unsustainable behaviors often stem from a common averaging bias when people estimate the environmental impact of a set of environmentally friendly and less friendly objects or actions. In Experiment 1, we show that people believe that the total carbon footprint of a category of items (a community of buildings in this case) is lower, rather than higher, when environmentally friendly (“green” buildings) items are added to the category, a negative footprint illusion. Experiment 2 showed  that the carbon footprint estimate assigned to a category with a mix of environmentally friendly and less friendly objects (“green” and conventional  buildings) is the average of its subsets (the “green” buildings and the  conventional buildings, respectively), an averaging bias. A similar averaging  process may underpin estimates of the environmental impact of people's own actions, explaining why people believe that environmentally friendly actions can compensate for less friendly actions.

  • 24.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology. School of Psychology, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, United Kingdom.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    When A+B < A: Cognitive bias in experts' judgment of environmental impact2018In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 9, article id 823Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    When ‘environmentally friendly’ items are added to a set of conventional items, people report that the total set will have a lower environmental impact even though the actual impact increases. One hypothesis is that this “negative footprint illusion” arises because people, who are susceptible to the illusion, lack necessary knowledge of the item’s actual environmental impact, perhaps coupled with a lack of mathematical skills. The study reported here addressed this hypothesis by recruiting participants (‘experts’) from a master’s program in energy systems, who thus have bachelor degrees in energy-related fields including academic training in mathematics. They were asked to estimate the number of trees needed to compensate for the environmental burden of two sets of buildings: One set of 150 buildings with conventional energy ratings and one set including the same 150 buildings but also 50 ‘green’ (energy-efficient) buildings. The experts reported that less trees were needed to compensate for the set with 150 conventional and 50 ‘green’ buildings compared to the set with only the 150 conventional buildings. This negative footprint illusion was as large in magnitude for the experts as it was for a group of novices without academic training in energy-related fields. We conclude that people are not immune to the negative footprint illusion even when they have the knowledge necessary to make accurate judgments.

  • 25.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    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.
    Are mental biases responsible for the perceived comfort advantage in "green" buildings?2018In: Buildings, ISSN 2075-5309, E-ISSN 2075-5309, Vol. 8, no 2, article id 20Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Previous research has shown that merely calling an indoor environment environmentally certified will make people favor that environment over a conventional alternative. In this paper we explore whether this effect depends on participants deliberately comparing the two environments, and whether different reasons behind the certification influence the magnitude of the effect. In Experiment 1, participants in a between-subjects design assigned higher comfort ratings to an indoor environment that had been labeled "environmentally certified" in comparison with the exact same indoor environment that was unlabeled, suggesting that the effect arises even when participants do not compare the two environments when making their estimates. The results from Experiment 2 indicate that climate change mitigation (as the reason for the certification) is a slightly better trigger of the effect compared to climate change adaptation. The results suggest that studies on psychological effects of "green" buildings should experimentally control for the influence from participants' judgmental biases.

  • 26.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    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.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Occupant perception of “green” buildings: Distinguishing physical and psychological factors2017In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 114, p. 140-147Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Studies have found a preference bias for “environmentally friendly” or “green” artifacts and buildings. For example, indoor environments are more favorably viewed when the building is labeled/certified “green”, in comparison with one that is not labeled/certified, even though the two environments are actually identical. The present study explored how physical properties of the indoor environment (high vs. low temperature) and labeling (“green” vs. “conventional”) interacts in their effect on environment perception. Participants performed a series of tasks in four indoor environments with different labels (low vs. high carbon footprint) and different temperatures (23°C vs. 28°C). Label and temperature were manipulated orthogonally. The participants’ environmental concern was also measured. The environmentally concerned participant assigned higher thermal acceptance and satisfaction scores to the environment labeled “low carbon footprint” (i.e., “green” certified) compared to the environment labeled “high carbon footprint” (i.e., not “green” certified), but only in the cooler thermal environment. Environmentally indifferent participants’ perception of the environment did not differ depending on label or room temperature. The results suggest that a “green” label positively influence the perception of the indoor environment for occupants, but only when the temperature is within the acceptable range as proposed in guidelines for “green” buildings.

  • 27.
    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)
  • 28.
    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.

  • 29.
    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.

  • 30.
    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, Linköping, Sweden; Department of Education, Health and Social Science, University of Dalarna, Falun, Sweden.
    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.
    Ljung, Robert
    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.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD, Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden; Department of Behavioral Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Student's second-language grade may depend on classroom listening position2016In: PLoS ONE, ISSN 1932-6203, E-ISSN 1932-6203, Vol. 11, no 6, article id e0156533Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this experiment was to explore whether listening positions (close or distant location from the sound source) in the classroom, and classroom reverberation, influence students’ score on a test for second-language (L2) listening comprehension (i.e., comprehension of English in Swedish speaking participants). The listening comprehension test administered was part of a standardized national test of English used in the Swedish school system. A total of 125 high school pupils, 15 years old, participated. Listening position was manipulated within subjects, classroom reverberation between subjects. The results showed that L2 listening comprehension decreased as distance from the sound source increased. The effect of reverberation was qualified by the participants’ baseline L2 proficiency. A shorter reverberation was beneficial to participants with high L2 proficiency, while the opposite pattern was found among the participants with low L2 proficiency. The results indicate that listening comprehension scores—and hence students’ grade in English—may depend on students’ classroom listening position.

  • 31.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Classroom acoustics – Speech intelligibility, memory and learning2014In: Proceedings of Forum Acusticum: Forum Acusticum, Kraków, Poland, 7-12 Sept, 2014 / [ed] Borkowski, B., 2014, Vol. 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The acoustical conditions in a classroom may severely impair listening, which in turn impairs learning. To safe-guard against inferior listening conditions government agencies and professional societies have established building codes and recommendations for acceptable signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) and reverberation times (RT) in classrooms. Codes and recommendations are based on conditions required for speech intelligibility and correct identification of spoken words and isolated sentences. Correct identification of what was said is a necessary condition for memory and learning, but it is not a sufficient one. There is a gap between speech intelligibility and memory and the size of that gap is a function of the intelligibility of the spoken message and how much the message taxes the individual's limited working memory capacity. I will discuss how SN, RT and their combinations change speech intelligibility and memory of spoken messages. Although the characteristics of the spoken material and the individual's working memory capacities can be assessed independently of each other, there is a functional equivalence between them. A difficult task and a lack of skill are two sides of the same coin. In a better world building codes and recommendations for classroom acoustics should be based on memory and learning rather than on speech intelligibility alone.

  • 32.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Classroom noise and its effect on learning2014In: 11th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), Nara, Japan, 1-5 June, 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The acoustical conditions in a classroom may severely impair listening, which in turn impairs learning. To safe-guard against inferior listening conditions government agencies and professional societies have established building codes and recommendations for acceptable signal-to-noise ratios (SNR) and reverberation times (RT) in classrooms. Codes and recommendations are based on conditions required for speech intelligibility and correct identification of spoken words and isolated sentences.

    Correct identification of what was said is a necessary condition for memory and learning, but it is not a sufficient one. There is a gap between speech intelligibility and memory and the size of that gap is a function of the intelligibility of the spoken message and how much the message taxes the individual's limited working memory capacity.

    I will discuss how SN, RT and their combinations change speech intelligibility and memory of spoken messages. Although the characteristics of the spoken material and the individual's working memory capacities can be assessed independently of each other, there is a functional equivalence between them. A difficult task and a lack of skill are two sides of the same coin.

    In a better world building codes and recommendations for classroom acoustics should be based on memory and learning rather than on speech intelligibility alone.

  • 33.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    When and why does a long reverberation time improve comprehension and recall?2017In: Proceedings 12th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), Zürich, Switzerland, 18-22 June, 2017, 2017Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In four recent experiments we have seen that a long reverberation time (RvT) may improve, rather than impair, comprehension and recall of spoken words or texts for participants who have limited language skills. A long RvT improved, rather than impaired, comprehension for Swedish pupils with a low proficiency in English reading when taking a grade 9 English listening comprehension test in their classroom. For those who were good at reading English there was a better recall with a short RvT. This crossover antagonistic interaction was replicated with Swedish college students grouped by their English proficiency reading skills. In two word list experiments with Swedish pupils in grade 4 and college students, English and Swedish words were presented with a long and short RvT and crossed with two signal-to-noise ratios. Also here there were indicators of a crossover interaction to the effects that along reverberation time improved, rather than impaired, the recall of the words for students that were on the low side of English language proficiency. Possible explanations will be discussed in the presentation.

  • 34.
    Hygge, Staffan
    et al.
    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.
    Speech intelligibility and recall of first and second language words heard at different signal-to-noise ratios2015In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 6, article id 1390Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and English were assessed in two signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) conditions (+3 and +12 dB), with and without half of the heard words being repeated back orally directly after presentation [shadowing, speech intelligibility (SI)]. A total of 24 word lists with 12 words each were presented in English and in Swedish to Swedish speaking college students. Pre-experimental measures of working memory capacity (operation span, OSPAN) were taken. A basic hypothesis was that the recall of the words would be impaired when the encoding of the words required more processing resources, thereby depleting working memory resources. This would be the case when the SNR was low or when the language was English. A low SNR was also expected to impair SI, but we wanted to compare the sizes of the SNR-effects on SI and recall. A low score on working memory capacity was expected to further add to the negative effects of SNR and language on both SI and recall. The results indicated that SNR had strong effects on both SI and recall, but also that the effect size was larger for recall than for SI. Language had a main effect on recall, but not on SI. The shadowing procedure had different effects on recall of the early and late parts of the word lists. Working memory capacity was unimportant for the effect on SI and recall. Thus, recall appear to be a more sensitive indicator than SI for the acoustics of learning, which has implications for building codes and recommendations concerning classrooms and other workplaces, where both hearing and learning is important.

  • 35.
    Hygge, Staffan
    et al.
    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.
    Hurtig, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Recall of spoken word lists in English and native Swedish presented at different signal-to-noise ratios and different reverberation times: A comparison between children aged 10-11 years and college students2014In: 11th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem (ICBEN), Nara, Japan, 1-5 June, 2014, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments will be presented which assessed free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and in English heard under different signal-to-noise ratios (SNR: +3 and +12 dB), and different reverberation times (RT: 0.3 and 1.2 s). All participants encountered these eight experimental conditions (Language*SNR*RT). The first experiment was run with college student (N=48), who were run individually. In the second experiment children in grade 4 (10-11 years, N=72) took part and they were run as a group in their regular classrooms.

    Twelve wordlists in English and twelve wordlists in Swedish were generated. The words were chosen according to their ranks in category norms for the two languages. The number of words in each list was 12 for the college group and 8 for children in Grade 4. The 2 x 12 wordlists were presented in counter balanced presentation orders in three blocks (Blocks). To compare primacy and recency effects the word lists were divided into three parts (p3rd). After each wordlist the participants typed in or wrote down the words they could recall.

    The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the SNR was low and the RT was long, and that SNR and RT would interact with each other, with Language and with Study (Grade4/College). The analyses suggest that for both groups there were expected effects of language and of SNR, but the effect of RT was smaller and only showed up in interactions.

  • 36.
    Hygge, Staffan
    et al.
    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.
    Hurtig, Anders
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Haga, Andreas
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Holmgren, Mattias
    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 years and college students2014In: 28th International Congress of Applied Psychology (ICAP 2014), Paris, France, 8-13 July, 2014: Abstracts, 2014Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two experiments will be presented which assessed free recall of spoken words in Swedish (native tongue) and in English heard under different signal-to-noise (SN) ratios (+3 and +12 dB), and different reverberation time (RT, .3 and 1.2 sec). All participants encountered all eight experimental conditions (Language*SN*RT). The first experiment was run with college student (N=48) and they were run individually. In the second experiment children in grade 4 (10-11 years, N=72) took part and they were run in the regular classrooms.

    Twelve wordlists in Swedish and twelve wordlists in English generated. 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. The number of words in each list was 12 for the college group and 8 for grade four. The 2 x 12 wordlists were presented in counter balanced presentation orders in three blocks. Within each block order of S/N and RT was also counterbalanced. After each wordlist the participants wrote down the words they could recall. Pre-experimental measures of working memory capacity were also taken.

    The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the SN-ratio was low and the RT was long, and that SN and RT would interact with each other, with Language and with Age-group.

    To compare primacy and recency effects the word lists were divided into three parts (p3rd). After each wordlist the participants typed in or wrote down the words they could recall.

    The basic hypotheses for the recall of the words were that working memory would be overloaded when the SNR was low and the RT was long, and that SNR and RT would interact with each other, with Language and with Study (Grade4/College). The analyses suggest that for both groups there were expected effects of language and of SNR, but the effect of RT was smaller and only showed up in interactions.

  • 37.
    Jahncke, Helena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Björkeholm, Patrik
    Uppsala University, Department of Psychology.
    Marsh, John E.
    University of Central Lancashire, School of Psychology.
    Odelius, Johan
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Office noise: can headphones and masking sound attenuate distraction by background speech?2016In: Work: A journal of Prevention, Assesment and rehabilitation, ISSN 1051-9815, E-ISSN 1875-9270, Vol. 55, no 3, p. 505-513Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    BACKGROUND: Background speech is one of the most disturbing noise sources at shared workplaces in terms of both annoyance and performance-related disruption. Therefore, it is important to identify techniques that can efficiently protect performance against distraction. It is also important that the techniques are perceived as satisfactory and are subjectively evaluated as effective in their capacity to reduce distraction.

    OBJECTIVE: The aim of the current study was to compare three methods of attenuating distraction from background speech: masking a background voice with nature sound through headphones, masking a background voice with other voices through headphones and merely wearing headphones (without masking) as a way to attenuate the background sound. Quiet was deployed as a baseline condition.

    METHODS: Thirty students participated in an experiment employing a repeated measures design.

    RESULTS: Performance (serial short-term memory) was impaired by background speech (1 voice), but this impairment was attenuated when the speech was masked – and in particular when it was masked by nature sound. Furthermore, perceived workload was lowest in the quiet condition and significantly higher in all other sound conditions. Notably, the headphones tested as a sound-attenuating device (i.e. without masking) did not protect against the effects of background speech on performance and subjective work load.

    CONCLUSIONS: Nature sound was the only masking condition that worked as a protector of performance, at least in the context of the serial recall task. However, despite the attenuation of distraction by nature sound, perceived workload was still high – suggesting that it is difficult to find a masker that is both effective and perceived as satisfactory.

  • 38.
    Jahncke, Helena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research. University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Eriksson, Karolina
    Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.
    Naula, Sanna
    Uppsala universitet, Institutionen för psykologi.
    The effects of auditive and visual settings on perceived restoration likelihood2015In: Noise & Health, ISSN 1463-1741, E-ISSN 1998-4030, Vol. 17, no 74, p. 1-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Research has so far paid little attention to how environmental sounds might affect restorative processes. The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of auditive and visual stimuli on perceived restoration likelihood and attitudes towards varying environmental resting conditions. Assuming a condition of cognitive fatigue, all participants (N = 40) were presented with images of an open plan office and urban nature, each under four sound conditions (nature sound, quiet, broadband noise, office noise). After the presentation of each setting/sound combination, the participants assessed it according to restorative qualities, restoration likelihood and attitude. The results mainly showed predicted effects of the sound manipulations on the perceived restorative qualities of the settings. Further, significant interactions between auditive and visual stimuli were found for all measures. Both nature sounds and quiet more positively influenced evaluations of the nature setting compared to the office setting. When office noise was present, both settings received poor evaluations. The results agree with expectations that nature sounds and quiet areas support restoration, while office noise and broadband noise (e.g. ventilation, traffic noise) do not. The findings illustrate the significance of environmental sound for restorative experience.

  • 39.
    Jahncke, Helena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Hallman, David
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mixter, Susanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Lyskov, Eugene
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    A cross-sectional study of alternations between physical and mental tasks2016Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Background. Health and well-being at work is generally assumed to be associated with sufficient physical and mental variation. Job rotation, where workers typically alternate between different physical tasks, is a popular initiative. Controlled experiments suggest that favourable effects are associated with alternations between mental and physical tasks, but little is known about this intervention in real work. The aims of this study were (1) to describe the occurrence of alternations between mental and physical tasks, and (2) to identify key determinants of such alternations.

    Method. We developed a questionnaire combining established questions with specific questions about alternations. Workers from two occupations (industrial and non-industrial blue-collar work), in jobs containing both physical and mental tasks, were included in the study. 122 (55 females) out of 293 workers approached at four companies answered the questionnaire.

    Results. On average, the workers alternated 3.5 times per day between mental and physical tasks. In the non-industrial companies, workers reported wanting more alternations than they had, while desired and actual alternations did not differ in the industrial companies. This effect of occupation on the difference between the number of alternations wanted and the actual alternations available was significant (p < 0.001). Furthermore, there was a general preference for performing a physical task after a mental task, and vice versa. This main effect of primarily performed task type (i.e. either physical or mental) on preferred subsequent task type was significant (p < 0.001). In a univariate analysis, gender appeared to be a strong determinant of the occurrence of alternations, but the effect was absorbed when adding the occupation variable.

    Discussion. Within the studied companies, work offered alternations between mental and physical tasks and there was a preference among workers to alternate between tasks. Occupation rather than gender was a key determinant of the number of alternations reported.

  • 40.
    Jahncke, Helena
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Mathiassen, Svend Erik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Hallman, David
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Mixter, Susanna
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Lyskov, Eugene
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Health and Occupational Studies, Department of Occupational and Public Health Sciences, Occupational health science. University of Gävle, Centre for Musculoskeletal Research.
    Variation at work: alternations between physically and mentally demanding tasks in blue-collar occupations2017In: Ergonomics, ISSN 0014-0139, E-ISSN 1366-5847, Vol. 60, no 9, p. 1218-1227Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aims of this questionnaire study were to describe the occurrence and desired number of alternations between mental and physical tasks in industrial and non-industrial blue-collar work, and determine to which extent selected personal and occupational factors influence these conditions. On average, the 122 participating workers (55 females) reported to have close to four alternations per day between mental and physical tasks, and to desire more alternations than they actually had. They also expressed a general preference for performing a physical task after a mental task and vice versa. In univariate regression models, the desired change in task alternations was significantly associated with Gender, Age, Occupation, Years with current work tasks, and Perceived job control, while Occupation was the only significant determinant in a multiple regression model including all factors. Our results suggest that alternations between productive physical and mental tasks could be a viable option in future job rotation.

  • 41. Joseph, Tanya
    et al.
    Hughes, Robert
    Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Marsh, John
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Differences in auditory distraction between adults and children: A duplex-mechanism approach2018In: Journal of Cognition, E-ISSN 2514-4820Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Differences in the impact of irrelevant sound on recall performance in children (aged 7-9 years old; N = 89) compared to adults (aged 18-22 years old; N = 89) were examined. Tasks that required serial rehearsal (serial and probed-order recall tasks) were contrasted with one that did not (the missing-item task) in the presence of irrelevant sound that was either steady-state (a repeated speech token), changing-state (two alternating speech tokens) and, for the first time with a child sample, could also contain a deviant token (a male-voice token embedded in a sequence otherwise spoken in a female voice). Participants either completed tasks in which the to-be-remembered list-length was adjusted to individual digit span or was fixed at one item greater than the average span we observed for the age-group. The disruptive effects of irrelevant sound did not vary across the two methods of determining list-length. We found that tasks encouraging serial rehearsal were especially affected by changing-state sequences for both age-groups (i.e., the changing-state effect) and there were no group differences in relation to this effect. In contrast, disruption by a deviant sound—generally assumed to be the result of attentional diversion—was evident among children in all three tasks while adults were less susceptible to this effect. This pattern of results suggests that developmental differences in distraction are due to differences in attentional control rather than serial rehearsal efficiency.

  • 42.
    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.

  • 43.
    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.

  • 44.
    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.

  • 45.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    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.
    Sorqvist, 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.
    Perception of intermittent air velocities in classrooms2014In: Indoor Air 2014 - 13th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate, 2014, p. 189-191Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Classrooms normally host a large number of people and the heat generated provides a challenge cool. Traditional cooling methods by increased low temperature supply airflow rate or use of heat sinks are expensive and mostly inefficient. The strategy of controlled air movements in the occupied zone may prove cheaper and desirable. This research investigates recirculation of room air to provide intermittent velocity cooling in classrooms. The objective of this experiment was to assess how occupants perceive the recirculated intermittent air velocity conditions in classrooms and when the variations should be introduced in the room for optimal results. This was done with a between participant design, accessing how they perceived indoor air quality (IAQ) and the thermal comfort in two velocity conditions: constant low air velocity condition (< 0.15 m/s) and intermittent air velocity condition (0.4 m/s). As shown here; intermittent air velocity has a positive effect on the perceived thermal comfort (p < 0.04) and perception of air quality: less draughty and improved humid perception. The participants perceived the conditions with intermittent velocity to give comfortable feelings and better air quality.  The variations also showed better performance if they were provided at the start of occupancy as opposed to during or after a temperature build up. This strategy can be used in environments where it is rather uneconomical to provide cooling like spaces hosting a group of people: movie theatres, auditoriums, classrooms and perhaps in restaurants.

  • 46.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    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.
    Experimental evaluation of an intermittent air supply system – Part 2: Occupant perception of thermal climate2016In: Building and Environment, ISSN 0360-1323, E-ISSN 1873-684X, Vol. 108, p. 99-109Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A newly proposed intermittent air jet strategy (IAJS) provides satisfactory indoor climate while promising a substantial energy saving potential, as shown in technical (objective) measurements. The strategy creates non-uniform airflow and non-isothermal conditions critical for sedentary operations at elevated temperatures. The current study explored human perception of thermal environment under an IAJS. Assessment of thermal sensation, thermal comfort, and thermal acceptability were collected based on responses from 36 participants. Participants sat in a classroom setup and performed sedentary work. Their clothing had an insulation of 0.51 clo (T-shirt on upper body). Participants were exposed to homogeneous (v < 0.15 m/s) and nonhomogeneous (0.4 m/s < v < 0.8 m/s) velocity conditions across three temperature conditions: 22.5 °C, 25.5 °C and 28.5 °C. The participants found air speeds to be undesirable at lower temperatures, but reported an improved thermal sensation, comfort and acceptability at higher temperatures. As shown here, IAJS generated neutral operable conditions between 24.8 °C and 27.8 °C, within an air speed range of 0.4 m/s to 0.8 m/s. Additionally, air movements induced thermal alliethesia resulting in improved comfort and acceptance of the thermal climate even at lower air speeds in warm temperature conditions. Hence, the current study supports the energy saving potential with IAJS in view of the human perception of the indoor environment.

  • 47.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    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.
    Human perception of room temperature and intermittent air jet cooling in a classroom2017In: Indoor + Built Environment, ISSN 1420-326X, E-ISSN 1423-0070, Vol. 26, no 4, p. 528-537Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Environments with high temperatures and under steady conditions are perceived poor. The introduction of airflow variations in such environments improves the perception. However the risk of draught is high and to avoid this, variations in high velocity supply is used. This method is far more energy efficient than cooling the entire space as only the occupants are cooled. This paper discusses two studies on occupant cooling conducted at the University of Gävle.  The experiments were performed in a full scale mockup classroom and a total of 85 students participated. In Study 1, students sat in a classroom for about 60 minutes in one of two heat conditions: 20 and 25 º C. In Study 2, the indoor parameters of 25 º C were maintained but airflow variation in the sitting zone was manipulated. In both studies, the participants performed various tasks and answered questionnaires on their perception of the indoor climate. As shown here, higher room temperature deteriorates human perception of the indoor climate in classrooms, and the use of intermittent air jet cooling improves the perception of indoor climate just like cooling by reducing the room air temperature. This study contributes to further knowledge of how convective cooling can be used as a method of cooling in school environments so as to improve on building energy use. 

  • 48.
    Kabanshi, Alan
    et al.
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Yang, Bin
    Department of Applied Physics and Electronics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
    Sörqvist, Patrik
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Sandberg, Mats
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Energy system.
    Occupants’ perception of air movements and air quality in a simulated classroom with an intermittent air supply system2017In: Indoor + Built Environment, ISSN 1420-326X, E-ISSN 1423-0070Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The study reported herein builds on occupant response to an intermittent air jet strategy (IAJS), which creates periodic airflow and non-isothermal conditions in the occupied zone.  Previous research has highlighted the benefits of IAJS on thermal climate and supports energy saving potential in view of human thermal perception of the indoor environment. In this study, the goal was to explore occupant acceptability of air movements and perceived indoor air quality, and to determine a way of assessing acceptable air movement conditions under IAJS. Thirty-six participants were exposed to twelve conditions: three room air temperatures (nominal: 22.5, 25.5 and 28.5 oC), each with varied air speeds (nominal: <0.15 m/s under mixing ventilation (MV), and 0.4, 0.6 and 0.8 m/s under IAJS) measured at the breathing height (1.1 m). The results show that participants preferred low air movements at lower temperatures and high air movements at higher temperatures. A model to predict percentage satisfied with intermittent air movements was developed, and predicts that about 87% of the occupants within a thermal sensation range of slightly cool (-0.5) to slightly warm (+0.5), in compliance with ASHRAE standard 55, will find intermittent air movements acceptable between 23.7 oC and 29.1 oC within a velocity range of 0.4 – 0.8 m/s.  IAJS also improved participants’ perception of air quality in conditions deemed poor under MV. The findings support the potential of IAJS as a primary ventilation system in high occupant spaces such as classrooms. 

  • 49.
    Keidser, Gitte
    et al.
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring And Deafness), Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    Seeto, Mark
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    Linnaeus Centre HEAD (HEaring And Deafness), Swedish Institute for Disability Research, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden.
    The Effect of Functional Hearing and Hearing Aid Usage on Verbal Reasoning in a Large Community-Dwelling Population2016In: Ear and Hearing, ISSN 0196-0202, E-ISSN 1538-4667, Vol. 37, no 1, p. e26-e36Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Objectives: Verbal reasoning performance is an indicator of the ability to think constructively in everyday life and relies on both crystallized and fluid intelligence. This study aimed to determine the effect of functional hearing on verbal reasoning when controlling for age, gender, and education. In addition, the study investigated whether hearing aid usage mitigated the effect and examined different routes from hearing to verbal reasoning.

    Design: Cross-sectional data on 40- to 70-year-old community-dwelling participants from the UK Biobank resource were accessed. Data consisted of behavioral and subjective measures of functional hearing, assessments of numerical and linguistic verbal reasoning, measures of executive function, and demographic and lifestyle information. Data on 119,093 participants who had completed hearing and verbal reasoning tests were submitted to multiple regression analyses, and data on 61,688 of these participants, who had completed additional cognitive tests and provided relevant lifestyle information, were submitted to structural equation modeling.

    Results: Poorer performance on the behavioral measure of functional hearing was significantly associated with poorer verbal reasoning in both the numerical and linguistic domains (p < 0.001). There was no association between the subjective measure of functional hearing and verbal reasoning. Functional hearing significantly interacted with education (p < 0.002), showing a trend for functional hearing to have a greater impact on verbal reasoning among those with a higher level of formal education. Among those with poor hearing, hearing aid usage had a significant positive, but not necessarily causal, effect on both numerical and linguistic verbal reasoning (p < 0.005). The estimated effect of hearing aid usage was less than the effect of poor functional hearing. Structural equation modeling analyses confirmed that controlling for education reduced the effect of functional hearing on verbal reasoning and showed that controlling for executive function eliminated the effect. However, when computer usage was controlled for, the eliminating effect of executive function was weakened.

    Conclusions: Poor functional hearing was associated with poor verbal reasoning in a 40- to 70-year-old community-dwelling population after controlling for age, gender, and education. The effect of functional hearing on verbal reasoning was significantly reduced among hearing aid users and completely overcome by good executive function skills, which may be enhanced by playing computer games.

  • 50.
    Keidser, Gitte
    et al.
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, Australia .
    Seeto, M
    National Acoustic Laboratories, Sydney, Australia .
    Hygge, Staffan
    University of Gävle, Faculty of Engineering and Sustainable Development, Department of Building, Energy and Environmental Engineering, Environmental psychology.
    Rudner, Mary
    Linköping university.
    Rönnberg, Jerker
    Linköping university.
    Hearing status and mental health – data from UK Biobank2014Conference paper (Refereed)
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