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Stress recovery during exposure to natural sounds and environmental noise
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. (Perception och psykofysik)
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Research suggests that physiological stress reactions may be reduced by visual impressions from natural environments as compared to urban or built-up environments. The present experiment tested whether similar effects might be found by auditory stimulation. Forty university students were tested in an experiment with four consecutive recovery sessions after stressful mental arithmetic tests. The independent variables were type of sound during recovery. The sound was either a natural sound environment (sounds from water and birdsong, at 50 dBA), or three types of noisy environments (traffic noises at 50 or 80 dBA or ambient background sound at 40 dBA). The main dependent variables were physiological recovery from stress, as measured by decrease in heart rate (HR) and skin conductance level (SCL) after the stressful arithmetic test. The main result was that SCL reduction was faster during nature sounds than during the various noises. For HR, no systematic effects of experimental sounds were found. The result for SCL lends some support the hypothesis that exposure to natural sounds facilitate physiological stress recovery.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 14 p.
Keyword [en]
Stress recovery, physiology, soundscape
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-27894OAI: diva2:219600
2009-05-20, 00:00 (Swedish)

Available from: 2009-05-28 Created: 2009-05-28 Last updated: 2009-05-28Bibliographically approved

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fulltext(196 kB)2004 downloads
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Alvarsson, Jesper, J.
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