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A principal components model of soundscape perception
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2010 (English)In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 128, no 5, 2836-2846 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a need for a model that identifies underlying dimensions of soundscape perception, and which may guide measurement and improvement of soundscape quality. With the purpose to develop such a model, a listening experiment was conducted. One hundred listeners measured 50 excerpts of binaural recordings of urban outdoor soundscapes on 116 attribute scales. The average attribute scale values were subjected to principal components analysis, resulting in three components: Pleasantness, eventfulness, and familiarity, explaining 50, 18 and 6% of the total variance, respectively. The principal-component scores were correlated with physical soundscape properties, including categories of dominant sounds and acoustic variables. Soundscape excerpts dominated by technological sounds were found to be unpleasant, whereas soundscape excerpts dominated by natural sounds were pleasant, and soundscape excerpts dominated by human sounds were eventful. These relationships remained after controlling for the overall soundscape loudness (Zwicker’s N10), which shows that ‘informational’ properties are substantial contributors to the perception of soundscape. The proposed principal components model provides a framework for future soundscape research and practice. In particular, it suggests which basic dimensions are necessary to measure, how to measure them by a defined set of attribute scales, and how to promote high-quality soundscapes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2010. Vol. 128, no 5, 2836-2846 p.
Keyword [en]
soundscape perception, principal components model, measurement
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-52115DOI: 10.1121/1.3493436OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-52115DiVA: diva2:386753
Available from: 2011-01-13 Created: 2011-01-13 Last updated: 2017-12-11Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Aesthetic Appreciation Explicated
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Aesthetic Appreciation Explicated
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The present doctoral thesis outlines a new model in psychological aesthetics, named the Information-Load Model. This model asserts that aesthetic appreciation is grounded in the relationship between the amount of information of stimuli and people’s capacity to process this information. This relationship results in information load, which in turn creates emotional responses to stimuli. Aesthetic appreciation corresponds to an optimal degree of information load. Initially, the optimal degree is relatively low. As an individual learns to master information in a domain (e.g., photography), the degree of information load, which corresponds to aesthetic appreciation, increases.

The present doctoral thesis is based on three empirical papers that explored what factors determine aesthetic appreciation of photographs and soundscapes. Experiment 1 of Paper I involved 34 psychology undergraduates and 564 photographs of various motifs. It resulted in a set of 189 adjectives related to the degree of aesthetic appreciation of photographs. The subsequent experiments employed attribute scales that were derived from this set of adjectives. In Experiment 2 of Paper I, 100 university students scaled 50 photographs on 141 attribute scales. Similarly, in Paper II, 100 university students scaled 50 soundscapes on 116 attribute scales. In Paper III, 10 psychology undergraduates and 5 photo professionals scaled 32 photographs on 27 attribute scales. To explore the underlying structure of the data sets, they were subjected to Multidimensional Scaling and Principal Components Analyses. Four general components, related to aesthetic appreciation, were found: Familiarity, Hedonic Tone, Expressiveness, and Uncertainty. These components result from the higher-order latent factor Information Load that underlies aesthetic appreciation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Psychology, Stockholm University, 2011. 136 p.
Keyword
Aesthetic Appreciation, Information-Load Model, Photographs, Soundscapes, Theory Development
National Category
Psychology
Research subject
Psychology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-53385 (URN)978-91-7447-214-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-03-04, David Magnussonsalen (U31), Frescati Hagväg 8, Stockholm, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2011-02-10 Created: 2011-01-22 Last updated: 2011-02-07Bibliographically approved

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