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Wanted And Unwanted Sounds And Their Affects On The Psychological And Physiological Performance

3660 words - 15 pages

Wanted and Unwanted Sounds and Their Affects on the Psychological and Physiological Performance

Research Question:

How does “unwanted” sound affect the physiological and psychological performance differently than “wanted” sound?

Thesis statement:

“Wanted” and “unwanted” sounds have the same physiological effects on the human body but effect its psychological performance differently.


Sound is a particular auditory impression perceived by the sense of hearing. The presence of unwanted sound is called noise pollution. This unwanted sound can seriously damage and effect physiological and psychological health. For instance, noise pollution can cause annoyance and aggression, hypertension, high stress levels, tinnitus, hearing loss, and other harmful effects depending on the level of sound, or how loud it is.
Furthermore, stress and hypertension are the leading causes to heart problems, whereas tinnitus can lead to forgetfulness, severe depression and at times panic attacks.
Everything from the sound of an alarm clock in the morning to the sound of an airplane passing by to the sound of your friend screaming at you can cause noise pollution, and leave you effected for a short period, or for the rest of your life. But not all sound is “unwanted”. Many people listen to music, and go out to clubs and parties without suffering from any of the negative symptoms of “unwanted” sound. Many people enjoy playing instruments like the piano or the trumpet. “Wanted” sound, unlike “unwanted” sound can relief stress, and relaxation and the calming of a person. However on the physiological aspects, “wanted” sound can be just as harmful as “unwanted sound”. There are many misconceptions about sound and hearing, and the greatest misconception is about loud sound not being harmful as long as it is wanted.

Literature Review:

The human body perceives sound through the sensory organ called the ear. Humans have two ears, where sound waves enter and transform into signals that can be perceived as “hearing”. Hearing is a complicated process. Everything that moves makes a sound.
Sound consists of vibrations that travel in waves which enter the ear and are changed into nerve signals that are sent to the brain. The brain interprets the signals as sounds.

Sound is measured in decibels (dB), where zero is the lower limit of audibility, and 130 dB is the pain threshold. A 10-dB increase equals a doubling in volume: a 75-dB sound is twice as loud as a 65-dB sound. Complete quietness is equal to 20dB of sound. Since everything that moves makes sound, although some of the sounds are so small that they cannot be perceived by the human body, because the sound waves spread out and become too weak to be “heard”.

The ear can be separated into three sections, the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear is a sound gathering device. The shape allows it to capture sound and funnel it into the ear. The outer ear also...

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