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  • 1. Aletta, F.
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, J.
    Towards acoustic indicators for soundscape design2014In: Proceeding of Forum Acusticum 2014, 2014, article id SS31_10Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Scientific research on how people perceive, experience or understand the acoustic environment as a whole (i.e., soundscape) is still in development, both with regards to acoustic properties, as well as personality and individual differences. In order to predict how people would perceive an acoustic environment, it is central to identify the underlying acoustic properties of soundscapes. In this study these properties were approached by investigating the visual similarity of colour prints of 50 audio spectrograms (time vs. frequency), representing audio recordings of a variety of acoustic environments. In total, 15 female and 15 male students from the University of Sheffield were recruited to assess the 50 spectrograms by sorting them into groups based on how similar they were perceived to be. A distance matrix, derived from the sorting data, was subjected to a Multidimensional Scaling analysis to map the underlying dimensions of similarity among the spectrograms, which are proposed to represent the underlying acoustic properties of the corresponding acoustic environments. Three dimensions were identified. The first dimension relates to Distinguishable–Indistinguishable sound sources, the second dimension to Background–Foreground sounds, and the third dimension to Intrusive–Smooth sound sources. The results also show that established acoustic parameters are inappropriate as indicators of acoustic environments and that further research is needed in this field.

  • 2. Aletta, Francesco
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, Jian
    Dimensions Underlying the Perceived Similarity of Acoustic Environments2017In: Frontiers in Psychology, ISSN 1664-1078, E-ISSN 1664-1078, Vol. 8, article id 1162Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Scientific research on how people perceive or experience and/or understand the acoustic environment as a whole (i.e., soundscape) is still in development. In order to predict how people would perceive an acoustic environment, it is central to identify its underlying acoustic properties. This was the purpose of the present study. Three successive experiments were conducted. With the aid of 30 university students, the first experiment mapped the underlying dimensions of perceived similarity among 50 acoustic environments, using a visual sorting task of their spectrograms. Three dimensions were identified: (1) Distinguishable-Indistinguishable sound sources, (2) Background-Foreground sounds, and (3) Intrusive-Smooth sound sources. The second experiment was aimed to validate the results from Experiment 1 by a listening experiment. However, a majority of the 10 expert listeners involved in Experiment 2 used a qualitatively different approach than the 30 university students in Experiment 1. A third experiment was conducted in which 10 more expert listeners performed the same task as per Experiment 2, with spliced audio signals. Nevertheless, Experiment 3 provided a statistically significantly worse result than Experiment 2. These results suggest that information about the meaning of the recorded sounds could be retrieved in the spectrograms, and that the meaning of the sounds may be captured with the aid of holistic features of the acoustic environment, but such features are still unexplored and further in-depth research is needed in this field.

  • 3. Aletta, Francesco
    et al.
    Kang, Jian
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics. University of Sheffield, United Kingdom.
    Soundscape descriptors and a conceptual framework for developing predictive soundscape models2016In: Landscape and Urban Planning, ISSN 0169-2046, E-ISSN 1872-6062, Vol. 149, p. 65-74Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Soundscape exists through human perception of the acoustic environment. This paper investigates how soundscape currently is assessed and measured. It reviews and analyzes the main soundscape descriptors in the soundscape literature, and provides a conceptual framework for developing predictive models in soundscape studies. A predictive soundscape model provides a means of predicting the value of a soundscape descriptor, and the blueprint for how to design soundscape. It is the key for implementing the soundscape approach in urban planning and design. The challenge is to select the appropriate soundscape descriptor and to identify its predictors. The majority of available soundscape descriptors are converging towards a 2-dimensional soundscape model of perceived affective quality (e.g., Pleasantness–Eventfulness, or Calmness–Vibrancy). A third potential dimension is the appropriateness of a soundscape to a place. This dimensions provides complementary information beyond the perceived affective quality. However, it depends largely on context, and because a soundscape may be appropriate to a place although it is poor, this descriptor must probably not be used on its own. With regards to predictors, or soundscape indicators, perceived properties of the acoustic environment (e.g., perceived sound sources) are winning over established acoustic and psychoacoustic metrics. To move this area forward it is necessary that the international soundscape community comes together and agrees on relevant soundscape descriptors. This includes to agree on numerical scales and assessment procedures, as well as to standardize them.

  • 4. Aletta, Francesco
    et al.
    Margaritis, Efstathios
    Filipan, Karlo
    Puyana Romero, Virginia
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, Jian
    Characterization of the soundscape in Valley Gardens, Brighton, by a soundwalk prior to an urban design intervention2015In: Proceedings of Euronoise 2015 / [ed] C. Glorieux, Nederlands Akoestisch Genootschap and ABAV - Belgian Acoustical Society , 2015, p. 1547-1552, article id 357Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of the present study was to characterize the soundscape of the Valley Gardens in Brighton before the area is converted into a downtown park. Valley Gardens is located in the busy city centre. It extends from the Brighton Pier at the seafront and approximately 1.5 km to the north. It includes Old Stein, Victoria Gardens, St Peter’s Church, and The Level. In 2015 work will commence on redeveloping Victoria Gardens and St Peter’s Church. In order to characterize the soundscape of the Valley Gardens prior to this urban design intervention a soundwalk was conducted. In October 2014, a group of 21 persons -experts in acoustics and officers of the City Council- were guided through the area together, and assessed the soundscape at eight sites: five within the Valley Gardens and three reference sites. The assessments covered the soundscape quality, how appropriate the soundscape is to the place, the dominance of perceived sound sources, and the affective quality of the soundscape. In addition, binaural recordings and sound-level measurements were conducted at each of the eight sites during the soundwalk. Preliminary results indicate that the Valley Gardens was dominated by the sound of road traffic, and that the soundscape was perceived as inappropriate to the place. Consequently, the planned design intervention should reduce the dominance of road-traffic sound and introduce more positive sounds, like the sound of people and nature. This would be done through careful planning of the landscape and human activities within the area. The plan is to follow-up these results with a post-intervention soundwalk.

  • 5.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Aesthetic Appreciation Explicated2011Doctoral 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.

  • 6.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Designing Soundscape for Sustainable Urban Development2011Report (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    The term 'soundscape' — the acoustic equivalent to 'landscape' — is relatively new to many. The present report summarises the results of the conference Designing Soundscape for Sustainable Urban Development, which was organised in order to introduce the soundscape approach to architects and urban planners who have little or no previous experience in this field. Like the conference, the present report seeks to inspire and provoke new thoughts in order to challenge the visual dominance in architecture. In order to reach this objective I invited among the finest soundscape experts in the world to present their thoughts and case studies for others to follow. By the present report they provide their contributions in written form for those who could not participate in the conference. I am convinced that these thoughts will change the way you perceive the built environment, as well as the way you think about and listen to sounds. The report makes evident that the soundscape is an essential environmental resource.

  • 7.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Effects of a low-height sound absorbent street furniture and a fountain on the soundscape in a Stockholm pocket park2016In: Proceedings of the Inter-Noise 2016, 2016, p. 5203-5211Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study investigated the effects of a mock-up version of a low-height sound absorbent street furniture and a fountain on the local soundscape in a pocket park in Stockholm. Binaural recordings were conducted at two distances from the main road (on the sidewalk and in the park). The recordings were conducted with or without the mock-up, and with the local fountain either turned on or off. Thirty-two students (16 women, Mage = 26.6 yrs., SDage = 5.7) participated in a listening experiment, and assessed eight experimental sounds, in context of 12 fill sounds, on how pleasant or eventful they were. ANOVA showed that the mock-up had a stronger effect on pleasantness on the sidewalk than in the park, and the fountain contributed to pleasantness only in the absence of the mock-up. Moreover, the fountain reduced the eventfulness in the park but not on the sidewalk. The results are in line with previous case studies. Taken together, they suggest that it is better to build low-height sound absorbent street furniture  han fountains, to improve the urban soundscape.

  • 8.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    How to measure soundscape quality2015In: Proceedings of Euronoise 2015 / [ed] C. Glorieux, Nederlands Akoestisch Genootschap and ABAV - Belgian Acoustical Society , 2015, p. 1477-1481, article id 67Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol has been criticized for being insufficient, because it proposes to assess soundscape quality by a Good–Bad Scale, and alternatively by eight attribute scales assessing the perceived affective quality of a soundscape. Critics argue that further alternative definitions of ‘soundscape quality’ must be explored. In particular they argue for assessing ‘soundscape quality’ by asking to what extent a soundscape is appropriate to a place. The Sound Cities project at School of Architecture, University of Sheffield, in the UK, investigated this issue by a listening experiment involving 50 university students and 25 urban and peri-urban areas from the UK. The results indicate that the Good–Bad Scale is correlated with the perceived affective quality of a soundscape. Conversely, the appropriateness of a soundscape to a place is orthogonal to the former two assessments and provides additional information. Thus, a soundscape can be appropriate to a place even though it is poor. This raises the issue of which information should be given priority. Probably the best recommendation is to assess soundscape by perceived affective quality. In addition, it is possible to complement this assessment by assessing the appropriateness of the soundscape to the place. However, the latter assessment should not be used on its own, as this may lead to unfortunate conclusions.

  • 9.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Individual differences in preferences to photographs2007In: Psychology of Aesthetics, Creativity, and the Arts, ISSN 1931-3896, Vol. 1, no 2, p. 61-72Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Individual differences in preferences to photographs were explored based on an alternative framework. This framework predicts that the primary difference between individuals in this respect is their ability to process photographic information, which in turn influences their preferences. Chiefly, people with well-developed schemes in photography (e.g., photo professionals) should have a higher ability to process photographic information than people with less developed schemes (e.g., psychology students). Consequently, people with well-developed schemes in photography should prefer photographs that are relatively more demanding to process. Ten psychology students and 5 photo professionals assessed 32 photographs on six general concepts: Preference, Hedonic Tone, Expressiveness, Familiarity, Uncertainty, and Dynamics. As predicted, photo professionals had a higher ability to process photographic information and preferred photographs that were relatively uncertain and unfamiliar. These results are in concordance with previous research and give strong support to the utility of the present framework in experimental aesthetics.

  • 10.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Introducing soundscape2012In: AESOP 2012, Ankara: Ankara, Turkey: Association of European Schools of Planning. / [ed] M. Balamir, M. Ersoy and E. Babalık Sutcliffe, 2012, p. Paper 220-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    'Soundscape' – the acoustic equivalent of 'Landscape' – is a relatively new area to many. It concerns the acoustic environment as perceived, experienced or understood by people, in context. Current development in soundscape research is directed towards urban planning and design in promotion of sustainable development, health, well-being, and quality of life. Above all, soundscape is about what sounds are appropriate to, or belonging to, a place. There is no one ideal soundscape. To determine which soundscapes are good, we must consider which activities the soundscape may enable at a place. Furthermore, soundscape creates a sense of place, and it is an important aspect of our cultural heritage. For instance, what soundscapes will our generation transfer to the next, and how will this affect sustainability and quality of life in the future? To incorporate soundscape into urban planning and design, we must understand the relationship between sound and human activities in the urban environment. What sounds and human activities are compatible, and which are not? For example, what sounds are compatible with urban street-life, or with a young children’s playground? What sounds promote or impede social interaction in urban open spaces, or what sounds promote or impede tranquillity? In order to advance soundscape research, a coordinated, cooperative and interdisciplinary effort is needed.

  • 11.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Perceived Quality of Urban Open Space: A Stockholm Case Study2017In: Space of Dialog for Places of Dignity: Fostering the European Dimension of Planning: Book of Proceedings / [ed] Eduarda Marques da Costa, Sofia Morgado, João Cabral, Lisboa: Universidade de Lisboa , 2017, p. 843-851, article id 1454Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In investigating the quality of urban open space, it is important to investigate how the visual and auditory components contribute to the total quality. The majority of studies investigating audio-visual interaction in environmental perception have concerned how visual stimuli affect auditory perception, such as how vegetation affects the perception of the sound of road traffic from a motorway (e.g., Anderson, Mulligan, Goodman, Regen, 1983). In general, these studies indicate that how people perceive sound depends on the visual context. That is, some sounds are more appropriate in one context than in another, which seems to depend on the participants’ expectations. For example, a city center is expected to sound like a city center, and not like a forest, and vice versa. Typically, a mismatch resulted in discomfort.

    A handful of laboratory studies investigated how perception of auditory and visual aspects related to the perception of the composite of audio-visual information (e.g., Gifford & Ng, 1982; Kuwano, Namba, Komatsu, Kato, & Hayashi, 2001; Morinaga, Aono, Kuwano, & Kato, 2003). Chiefly, these studies showed that visual aspects of environments were more important than auditory aspects. However, how important the visual aspects were, was highly variable across different environments. This indicates that auditory information might dominate over visual information at some point (see also Gan, Luo, Breitung, Kang, & Zhang, 2014; Preis, Koci ski, Hafke-Dys, & Wrzosek, 2015).

    The present paper concerns a case study conducted in collaboration with the City of Stockholm, Sweden, in the summer of 2016. The purpose was to characterize and to investigate the potential for improving the quality of the environment in a centrally located park area in the city. Walks were conducted in situ together with 61 residents. In the walks the participants assessed five preselected sites in and near the park area, with regards to their perceived total, auditory and visual qualities.

  • 12.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Progress in soundscape research requires a common agenda2011In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 130, no 4, p. 2495-2495Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    It is commonly believed that progress and success in any field requires competition. This is probably true, but this belief implies that all competitors have a common view on the objectives. There would not be much competition if all parties ran off in opposite directions, striving to achieve different goals. Nor would it lead to much progress. The present session calls for networking and international collaboration in soundscape research. For such collaboration to be successful, it is critical to agree on a common agenda; a mission; an objective. Recent development in soundscape research makes evident that the objective must be practical and applicable. Our minds must be set to implementing soundscape research in practice to avoid exhausting academic debates, which tend to be ends in themselves and do not contribute to progress. Two excellent, recent examples of international collaboration in soundscape research, contributing to progress, are ISO/TC 43/SC 1/WG 54 and the European COST Action TD0804 “Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes.” Both illustrate the need for international and interdisciplinary collaboration among acousticians, architects, and urban planners to accelerate progress in soundscape research. The present paper presents possible topics for a common agenda in soundscape research.

  • 13.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sound Cities2013In: AESOP / ACSP 5th Joint Congress 2013: Planning for Resilient Cities and Regions: eBook of Abstracts, Dublin, Ireland: Association of European Schools of Planning , 2013, p. 772-772Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Soundscape is an overlooked aspect of sustainable urban development and resilient cities. Particularly, soundscape is associated with urban open space quality and urban design. It concerns the acoustic environment as perceived or experienced and/or understood by people in context. It includes all sounds – positive as well as negative. Unlike current management of the acoustic environment, soundscape is not primarily about reducing sound levels below an acceptable guideline value. Rather, it is about what sounds belong to a place. From a heritage perspective it is important to ask what soundscapes present generations create and transfer to future generations. How do people want the city to sound? This relates to architecture and the urban infra structure, such as location of buildings, roads and parks, including the activities they entail. Much of what present generations create is durable and will affect many generations to come, by limiting the number of degrees of freedom at their disposal. This paper presents an early report on the Sound Cities projects that investigate how soundscapes may be consciously and expediently designed, as well as what we should mean with soundscape quality. For example, what is the relationship between soundscape and human activity in the city, or between soundscape and different kinds of sound sources? The aim of the projects is to promote sustainable urban development, quality of life, as well as health and well-being among urban residents, today and in the future. The projects include in situ questionnaires, psychoacoustic listening experiments, as well as machine learning, based on music information retrieval technology.

  • 14.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Soundscape and the human scale in urban design2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With changing practices in urban planning, moving away from thinking of the city primarily in terms of infrastructure towards a growing appreciation of the city as a stage for social interaction, the human scale is all more important in urban design. What do the citizens need, and how would they like the city to be? Soundscape research focuses on these issues with regards to the acoustic environment, aiming to develop knowledge, tools and strategies. Central purposes of soundscapes studies are to describe, evaluate, change or to design/create acoustic environments. The aim is to promote health, well-being and quality of life. Because soundscape concerns how people perceive, experience or understand the acoustic environment the human scale is taken into account by definition. This paper will discuss questions that are central to soundscape theory and its application in an increasingly dense urban environment.

  • 15.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Soundscape Quality2013In: AIA-DAGA/EAA Euroregio 2013: Program, Berlin: Deutschen Gesellschaft für Akustik , 2013, p. 204-205Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    With the formation of the working group ISO/TC 43/SC 1/WG 54 “Perceptual Assessment of Soundscape Quality” of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2008, a debate has arisen on what soundscape quality should mean. The Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol defines soundscape quality operationally as a single, one-dimensional Good-Bad scale. Critics argue that this is unsatisfactory, because there is no one ideal soundscape. Rather, they argue that soundscape quality is relative to a place and the outcomes that the soundscape of that place facilitates or enables (e.g., conversation without interruption, nature appreciation or psychological restoration). In 2013, a questionnaire study will be conducted in Sheffield, UK, including about 900 users/visitors in 45 urban and peri-urban areas, divided on 9 different kinds (e.g., pedestrian areas, residential areas, parks, and plazas). The purpose is to define soundscape quality and to further develop measurement methods in this field. The results are expected to contribute to methods for 'green labelling' of soundscapes, and to support the development of the International Standard ISO 12913 on soundscape. The present paper discusses research plans and initial results.

  • 16.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The ISO 12913 series on soundscape2011In: Proceedings of Forum Acusticum 2011 / [ed] Danish Acoustical Society, Aalborg, Danmark: European Acoustics Association (EAA), 2011, p. 494-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Since February 2009 the working group ISO/TC 43/SC 1/WG 54 “Perceptual assessment of soundscape quality”, of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), has been working on a draft of the first international standard on soundscape. It was submitted as a new work item proposal to ISO in November 2010, and may become the first part of the new ISO 12913 series on soundscape. This first part of the series provides a definition of the term ‘soundscape’ and a conceptual framework of soundscape perception. It explicates background factors relevant for soundscape perception and the measurement of soundscape quality. By providing a standard reference, the working group aims at international consensus in order to avoid confusion in regard to the definition, and to accelerate progress in soundscape research. Subsequent parts of the ISO 12913 series will deal with minimum reporting requirements in soundscape research, and methods for measuring soundscape quality.

  • 17.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The ISO 12913 series on soundscape: An update, May 20122012In: Acoustics 2012, Hong Kong, Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics (HKIOA) , 2012, p. Paper 805-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In February 2009 the working group ISO/TC 43/SC 1/WG 54 “Perceptual assessment of soundscape quality”, International Organization for Standardization (ISO), began preparing the first International Standard on soundscape “ISO 12913-1 Acoustics – Soundscape – Part 1: Definition and conceptual framework”. This paper presents the latest version, including the definition of ‘Soundscape’ and its conceptual framework. At its current state of development the framework highlights seven general concepts and their relationships: (1) sound sources, (2) acoustic environment, (3) auditory sensations, (4) interpretation of auditory sensations, (5) responses, (6) context, and (7) outcomes. By providing a standard reference, the working group aims at international consensus in order to avoid ambiguity, and to enable conceptual progress in soundscape research. ISO 12913-1 is expected to be published as an International Standard in 2015, or before. Subsequent parts of the ISO 12913 series will deal with minimum reporting requirements in soundscape research, and methods for measuring soundscape quality.

  • 18.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Towards a psychology of photography: Dimensions underlying aesthetic appeal of photographs2007In: Perceptual and Motor Skills, ISSN 0031-5125, E-ISSN 1558-688X, Vol. 105, no 2, p. 411-434Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    With the aim to contribute to the development of a psychology of photography, this study examined what attributes are the major determinants of aesthetic appeal of photographs. Two interlinked experiments were conducted with 564 photographs having a wide range of motifs. Exp. 1 consisted of sorting by aesthetic appeal and adjective generation. In Exp. 2, attribute scaling was collected. Multidimensional scaling analysis of the photographs yielded three dimensions identified with the aid of attribute scales combined with measures of the manifest content of the photographs. The three dimensions were Hedonic Tone-Familiarity, Absence of color, and Expressiveness-Dynamics. The present results suggested that participants' familiarity with the photographs, the types of photographs (Color or Black & White), and the photographs' dynamics all affected participants' judgments of aesthetic appeal. Hedonic Tone and Expressiveness apparently mediated the participants' judgments.

  • 19.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Towards guidelines for soundscape design2015In: Book of Proceedings AESOP Prague Annual Congress 2015: Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility / [ed] M. Macoun, K. Maier, 2015, p. 802-808Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Architects and urban planners request guidelines with regards to soundscape design. In 2013 staff and students at the University of Sheffield, UK, were invited to take part in an electronic survey to investigate what kinds of urban open spaces that they prefer, and how these spaces should be designed with regards to soundscape. Respondents were asked to freely name their favourite outdoor place in Sheffield, and to what extent they found a list of 45 social and recreational activities, as well as a list of 40 sound sources appropriate for this place. A total of 935 individuals completed the questionnaire. A hierarchical cluster analysis of the 45 social and recreational activities revealed three main categories of favourite outdoor places: ‘Urban Park’, ‘City Centre’, and ‘My Space’. For ‘Urban Park’ natural sounds were appropriate when clearly audible, sounds of individuals when moderately audible, sounds of crowds when slightly audible, and technological sounds when inaudible. For ‘City Centre’ sounds of individuals were appropriate when moderately audible, whereas natural sounds, and sounds of crowds were appropriate when slightly audible. Technological sounds were appropriate when inaudible. For ‘My Space’ natural sounds and sounds of individuals were appropriate when moderately audible, whereas sounds of crowds and technological sounds were appropriate when inaudible. This kinds of profiles may serve as design guidelines for urban outdoor spaces with regards to soundscape, based on their social and recreational purposes.

  • 20.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Tower of Babel, or why bother about international standards?2011In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 130, no 4, p. 2467-2467Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    While a vast nation like the USA has the capacity to be self-sufficient, many countries lack this privilege. Take Sweden as an example, a small country in northern Europe with a population of 9 million. Swedes are proud to be international. And they should, because how could a nation, which since the days of the Vikings has depended on international trade, sustain itself without a global economy. International standards support the development within this global economy, just like English as business language facilitates global collaboration. Imagine humanity without these common frames of reference.

  • 21.
    Axelsson, Östen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Soundscape assessment.2005In: The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, Vol. 117, no 4, p. 2591-2592Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to improve the quality of the soundscape it is necessary to know its descriptive and evaluative properties, and the relationships between these properties. This was explored in a listening experiment with 100 participants (48 women, 52 men; mean age 25,6 years). Each participant scaled 5 out of 50 soundscapes with regard to 116 single verbal attributes, using a visual analogue scale of agreeableness. In addition, acoustical properties of the soundscapes were assessed. A principal component analysis identified two major evaluative components, labeled Hedonic Tone and Eventfulness. Furthermore it was found that the mere presence of common sound sources, regardless of sound level, correlated significantly with these evaluative components. Technological sounds (e.g., traffic noise) were negatively associated with both Hedonic Tone and Eventfulness, while a positive association was found between Hedonic Tone and sounds of nature (e.g., bird song), and a positive association was found between Eventfulness and human sounds (e.g., human voices). These relationships lead to the hypothesis that introduction of nature and human sounds, in combination with the reduction of technological sounds may improve the quality of soundscapes considerably.

  • 22.
    Axelsson, Östen
    et al.
    University of Sheffield, UK.
    Lundén, Peter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Sound Cities: Computational modelling of urban soundscape quality2013In: Inter Noise 2013: Noise Control for Quality of Life. Innsbruck, Austria / [ed] W. Talasch, 2013Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Whether to improve existing acoustic environments, as they are perceived or experienced and/or understood by people, in context (i.e., soundscapes), or to design future soundscapes it is central to have a prediction model that relates predictors (i.e., acoustic indicators) to outcomes (i.e., psychological variables). In the Sound Cities project it is proposed to use as outcome what Axelsson previously has termed Information Load. The purpose of the Sound Cities project is to identify what acoustic indicators may predict the information load of soundscapes. The method will be psychoacoustic experiments in which a large sample of naïve listeners will assess recordings of authentic acoustic environments with regards to information load. Acoustic signals and information-load data will be submitted to machine learning, based on music information retrieval technology. It is expected that the Sound Cities project will contribute to the underpinnings of future tools for soundscape planning and design, like soundscape maps that provide information on how people perceive the acoustic environment. This is in contrast to present noise maps, which only provide calculated sound-pressure levels from transportation and industry.

  • 23.
    Axelsson, Östen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Water features and acoustic diversity of urban parks2011In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 130, no 4, p. 2533-2533Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Water features are well-acknowledged in architecture and urban planning for their visual characteristics. But, how do water features contribute to acoustic diversity and soundscape quality? Visitors in an urban park were recruited to complete a questionnaire on how they perceived the park including its soundscape. Meanwhile, the soundscape was manipulated by turning a fountain on or off at irregular hours. The fountain sounds had a positive effect on soundscape quality in an area close to the fountain, by masking background road-traffic noise. The fountain sound also masked other natural sounds, which may have a negative influence on acoustic diversity and soundscape quality. In addition, some participants may have mistaken the fountain sounds for distant road-traffic noise. Hence, when introducing a water feature in an urban park it is necessary to consider the acoustic characteristics of the water sounds, as well as the placement of the water feature.

  • 24.
    Axelsson, Östen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    A principal components model of soundscape perception2010In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, E-ISSN 1520-8524, Vol. 128, no 5, p. 2836-2846Article in journal (Refereed)
    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.

  • 25.
    Axelsson, Östen
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Validation of the Swedish soundscape-quality protocol2012In: Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, ISSN 0001-4966, Vol. 131, no 4, p. 3474-Article in journal (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol was developed to help non-experts (e.g., officials working for municipalities rather than soundscaperesearchers) to make informed, accurate measurements of soundscape quality. The Protocol has hitherto been used in England, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands; a Korean version is being developed. Based on field studies – soundwalks in urban residential areas, recreational areas, and parks – the present paper reports on the psychometric properties of the scales of the Protocol. Participants were residents, or visitors to the areas and their results support the reliability and validity of the scales in the Protocol. Because high acoustic quality has a greater effect in visually attractive than in visually poor areas, the Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol includes scales for cross-sensory tabulation. These are sound source identification – sounds from humans, nature and technology – attribute scales (e.g., eventful, exciting, pleasant, and calm), overall soundscape quality, and concomitant visual impressions. In brief, the Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol is an easy to use and practical tool for measuringsoundscape quality. It has the potential to help operationalize how soundscapes can be measured in “quiet areas” to meet a future guideline value of the World Health Organization.

  • 26.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    A dualistic psychoacoustic research strategy for measuring soundscape quality: Paper 034.2006In: Inter-Noise 2006–Engineering a Quieter World.: Engineering a Quieter World., 2006Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to be able to design future soundscapes, tools are needed by which soundscape quality can be measured. For this purpose a “dualistic psychoacoustic research strategy” has been developed. The main goal of this strategy is to identify new ways to characterize soundscapes acoustically. The core question is how soundscapes should be measured on the one hand acoustically, on the other perceptually, such that the acoustic soundscapes that are similar (or dissimilar) would be identical to the perceived soundscapes that are similar (or dissimilar). A top down approach is favored in which tools for measuring perceived soundscape quality are first developed, and followed by developing models of measurement for acoustic soundscapes. Our multidimensional tool for measuring perceived soundscapes includes (perceived) similarity analysis for finding basic underlying dimensions and corresponding similarity analysis of acoustic (waterfall) soundscape quality. This means that this tool measures soundscape quality beyond loudness of unwanted sounds or mere sound level of predominant noise. Research on neural network models is in progress for finding appropriate acoustic measures of soundscapes.

  • 27.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Are similar acoustic soundscapes perceived as similar?: Paper SS29-355.2006In: EuroNoise 2006: Advanced Solutions for Noise Control., 2006Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Health guidelines are concerned with soundscapes as coherent wholes (emissions from all sounds) and everyday life also takes place in soundscapes. Current noise control focuses on sound level change for singular sources, isolated from invariant background and other component sounds. By applying a dualistic similarity approach to data sets of perceptual soundscapes and acoustic soundscapes, it was possible to meaningfully differentiate properties of acoustic soundscapes of relevance for improving urban and suburban soundscapes. Apart from the mere presence of common sounds (e.g., birds, sounds of nature or technological sounds), meaningful differentiations of soundscapes include: (1) the relative proportion of direct and shielded sounds in background soundscapes, (2) the modification of loudness/softness and eventfulness/uneventfulness by acoustic quality, and (3) the “sound signatures” traceable to the relative foreground-background character of perceived soundscapes. Acoustically similar soundscapes (evolutionary spectra) were not always perceived similar, because the reasons for the two types of similarities differ. This fact calls for new ways to assess the acoustic soundscapes such that adequate design tools for coherent soundscapes can be developed.

  • 28.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    The soundscape explicated.2005In: Archives of Acoustics, ISSN 0137-5075, Vol. 30, no 4 (Supplement), p. 127-130Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Landscapes but not soundscapes are planned. Today’s noise control is based on traffic noise prognosis and is confined to average sound level of traffic noise. However, the heterogeneous soundscape embraces many component sounds, background sound inclusive. Prognostic design tools are needed by which “quiet” and pleasing soundscapes can be ensured. In a psychoacoustic experiment, promising properties of soundscapes were retrieved from similarities among evolutionary spectra. These were meaningfully differentiated in accord with features of perceived soundscapes extracted by multi-dimensional scaling: (a) position and slope of loudness functions due to qualitative differences (road-traffic exposed or shielded sides of buildings), (b) clusters of shielded soundscapes relative to two types of sound-exposed soundscapes, and (c) relative contribution of direct sound to background in soundscapes. The dualistic similarity approach conveys useful knowledge for soundscape design and mitigation psychophysics.

  • 29.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Soundscape perception.2006In: Joint Baltic-Nordic Acoustics Meeting 2006.: 8-10 November 2006, Gothenburg, Sweden., 2006Conference paper (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [en]

    Annoyance research typically focuses on single sources and on adverse effects of noise. In contrast, soundscape research focuses on the total sound environment, including all its positive and negative aspects. A major challenge in soundscape research is to develop methods for measuring the perceived soundscape. In the research program “Soundscape Support to Health”, we have developed new methods for this purpose, including listening tests in the laboratory, listening walks in the field and questionnaire studies targeted on the soundscape. We have thus identified major perpetual dimensions of soundscapes (pleasantness and eventfulness), linked these features to important acoustical and informational properties of soundscapes (type of sources), and explored the effect of noise mitigation on soundscape perception. Our research show (a) that pleasantness of soundscapes is related to the presence of natural sounds, whereas eventfulness is related to the presence of sounds from humans, (b) that traffic noise should be reduced to below 50 dBA, in order to have a chance to create good outdoor soundscapes in urban residential and recreational areas, and (c) that mitigation efficiency in sound level of various barriers and facades may overestimate corresponding perceptual mitigation efficiency. Based on these findings, new tools for ‘green labelling’ of soundscapes are being developed.

  • 30.
    Berglund, Birgitta
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Perception och Psykofysik.
    Nilsson, Mats E
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Perception och Psykofysik.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Perception och Psykofysik.
    Soundscape psychophysics in place2007In: Proc. Inter-Noise 2007, 2007, p. IN07–114-Conference paper (Other academic)
  • 31. Jeon, Jin Yong
    et al.
    Hong, Joo Young
    Lavandier, Catherine
    Lafon, Jeanne
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hurtig, Malin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    A cross-national comparison in assessment of urban park soundscapes in France, Korea, and Sweden through laboratory experiments2018In: Applied Acoustics, ISSN 0003-682X, E-ISSN 1872-910X, Vol. 133, p. 107-117Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This study aims at examining the effect of socio-cultural context, including language, on soundscape assessments in urban parks. In total, 95 persons took part in three laboratory experiments, conducted in France (30 participants), Korea (30 participants) and Sweden (35 participants). Twenty-eight audio-visual excerpts from recordings conducted in five urban parks were used as stimuli. The participants evaluated soundscape quality using attribute scales provided in their own native languages. Principal Components Analysis produced two principal components of perceived affective quality, Pleasantness and Eventfulness. There were high levels of similarity in attributes associated with the Pleasantness among the three countries, whereas some differences were observed in the attributes related to Eventfulness. Two hierarchical cluster analyses were conducted based on perceived dominance of sound sources, and component scores of perceived affective quality. There were no significant differences in clustering results based on perceived dominance of sound sources among the different nationalities. In contrast, discrepancies were found in the clustering results based on perceived affective quality. In particular, perceptual responses to human sounds, birdsong, and water sounds, which are closely related to Eventfulness, were significantly different across the three cultural backgrounds. These findings provide empirical evidence of socio-cultural differences in soundscape assessment.

  • 32. Lavia, L.
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Dixon, M.
    Sounding Brighton: Developing an applied soundscape strategy2012In: AESOP 2012, Ankara: Ankara, Turkey: Association of European Schools of Planning / [ed] M. Balamir, M. Ersoy & E. Babalık Sutcliffe, 2012, p. Paper 760-Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In order to help develop an applied soundscape strategy for the City of Brighton & Hove, in the United Kingdom, we conducted a social survey, as part of a project called Sounding Brighton, via a questionnaire study. The survey, in which members of the public were invited to participate anonymously, was supported by the EU COST Action TD0804 “Soundscapes of European Cities and Landscapes”, in cooperation with Brighton & Hove City Council and Local Action Teams. In total, 354 individuals, 15 years or older, completed the questionnaire. It consisted of four parts: (1) noise annoyance, (2) favourite outdoor location in Brighton & Hove and the social and recreational activities it entails, (3) what sounds are appropriate to the favourite location, and (4) demographic data. Using hierarchical cluster analysis, 5 categories of favourite locations, as well as 5 categories of recreational soundscapes, were found. The categories of favourite locations in Brighton & Hove were named: ‘Beach & Seaside’, ‘City Park’, ‘Peri -Urban Recreation Area’, ‘My Space’, and ‘Downtown City’. The recreational soundscapes were named: ‘Urban Nature’, ‘Distant Nature’, ‘Urban’, ‘Seaside’, and ‘Urban Beach’. A Chi Square analysis showed that there is a statistically significant and meaningful relationship between the social and recreational activities that people find suitable in their favourite outdoor location and the degree to which they find that specific sound sources are appropriate there. The next step in the development of an applied soundscape strategy is to identify and map all areas of Brighton & Hove that fall under the five categories of favourite locations, and to decide on their acoustic objectives in line with the five categories of recreational soundscapes.

  • 33. Lavia, Lisa R.
    et al.
    Dixon, Max
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Witchel, Harry
    Using a soundscape approach to develop an acoustic ecology plan for a city2011In: Program abstracts of the 162nd meeting of The Acoustical Society of America, Acoustical Society of America , 2011, p. 2532-2532Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Sounding Brighton is a collaborative project exploring practical approaches toward better soundscapes focusing on soundscape issues related to health, quality of life, and restorative functions of the environment. The project provides the opportunity to raise awareness and promote communication on soundscapes among the general public, stakeholders and those involved in policy, including encouraging exploration of new ways of listening in local soundscapes, and new ways of tackling noise and improving local soundscape quality. The project is working to provide opportunities to discuss how soundscape concepts might, alongside tackling conventional noise problems, contribute to local planning and environmental improvement as part of a city wide engagement process in the city of Brighton and Hove in England in the United Kingdom. A range of environments, e.g., seafront, foreshore, historic terraces, squares, lanes, parks, and gardens, are being considered. A soundmap of the city is being developed utilizing the Swedish Soundscape-Quality Protocol (developed by Osten Axelsson, Mats E Nilsson and Birgitta Berglund); a public outreach exhibition is being developed; and a night noise intervention study is planned to explore the relationship between soundscapes and the brain, community well being, social cohesion, and the physical and mental health of individuals.

  • 34. Lundén, Peter
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Hurtig, Malin
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    On urban soundscape mapping: A computer can predict the outcome of soundscape assessments2016In: Proceedings of the Inter-Noise 2016, 2016, p. 4725-4732Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The purpose of this study was to investigate whether or not a computer may predict the outcome of soundscape assessments, based on acoustic data only. It may be argued that this is impossible, because a computer lack life experience. Moreover, if the computer was able to make an accurate prediction, we also wanted to know what information it needed to make this prediction. We recruited 33 students (18 female; Mage = 25.4 yrs., SDage = 3.6) out of which 30 assessed how pleasant and eventful 102 unique soundscape excerpts (30 s) from Stockholm were. Based on the Bag of Frames approach, a Support Vector Regression learning algorithm was used to identify relationships between various acoustic features of the acoustics signals and perceived affective quality. We found that the Mel-Frequency Cepstral Coefficients provided strong predictions for both Pleasantness (R2 = 0.74) and Eventfulness (R2 = 0.83). This model performed better than the average individual in the experiment in terms of internal consistency of individual assessments. Taken together, the results show that a computer can predict the outcome of soundscape assessments, which is promising for future soundscape mapping.

  • 35. Margaritis, E.
    et al.
    Aletta, F.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Kang, K.
    Botteldooren, D.
    Singh, R.N.
    Soundscape mapping in the urban context: A case study in Sheffield2015In: Book of Proceedings, AESOP Prague Annual Congress 2015: Definite Space – Fuzzy Responsibility / [ed] Milan Macoun, Karel Maier, Prague: Czech technical university , 2015Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    According to the recently published ISO 12913-1, soundscape differs from the acoustic environment, since the first refers to a perceptual construct, whilst the latter to a physical phenomenon. Noise exposure has been a main concern over the last decades, but from the planning viewpoint limited attention has been given to the perception of the acoustic environment and its representation at a city scale. This paper aims to establish a method for representing soundscape through source-related maps and secondly to correlate the sound sources with the urban context in terms of specific activities. Using a grid-based sampling methodology within the broader area of Sheffield city centre, soundscape data were collected in 90 spots, during morning and evening hours. Afterwards, soundscape variability for technological, anthropic and natural sounds was represented by maps using a Kriging interpolation technique in GIS. Preliminary results show how sound sources’ spatial variation in urban soundscapes is closely related to urban contexts and activities, therefore urban activities can be relevant for designing the soundscape of the urban realm. The paper ultimately points out how soundscape mapping can be used as a tool for planning purposes and urges to rethink the design process of the built environment also from the sonic viewpoint.

  • 36. Nilsson, Johanna
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    ATTRIBUTES OF AESTHETIC QUALITY USED BY TEXTILE CONSERVATORS IN EVALUATING CONSERVATION INTERVENTIONS ON MUSEUM COSTUMES2015In: Perceptual and Motor Skills, ISSN 0031-5125, E-ISSN 1558-688X, Vol. 121, no 1, p. 199-218Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Aesthetic quality is central to textile conservators when evaluating a conservation method. However, the literature on textile conservation chiefly focuses on physical properties, and little is known about what factors determine aesthetic quality according to textile conservators. The latter was explored through two experiments. Experiment 1 explored the underlying attributes of aesthetic quality of textile conservation interventions. Experiment 2 explored the relationships between these attributes and how well they predicted aesthetic quality. Rank-order correlation analyses revealed two latent factors called Coherence and Completeness. Ordinal regression analysis revealed that Coherence was the most important predictor of aesthetic quality. This means that a successful conservation intervention is visually well-integrated with the textile item in terms of the material and method.

  • 37. Nilsson, Johanna
    et al.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology, Perception and psychophysics.
    Visual Aesthetic Perceptions and Preferences in Conserved Objects of Plain Silk: Comparison of Three Conservation Methods2016In: Perceptual and Motor Skills, ISSN 0031-5125, E-ISSN 1558-688X, Vol. 122, no 3, p. 777-798Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Three conservation methods were executed on bonnets in plain monochrome silk, to investigate which method is perceived as the most visually aesthetic; 11 bonnets were produced, 10 given identical damages, and 9 were conserved, 3 with each method. The damage was secured onto a support fabric with laid couching, a long stitch fastened with short perpendicular stitches, or brick couching, short stitches placed like brick-work, or covered with crepeline (a semi-transparent silk). The participants were 30 Swedish textile conservators (29 women; ages 29-78 years, M = 51.9, SD = 12.9), and 30 museum visitors (20 women; ages 15-74 years, M = 41.1, SD = 18.3). The participants' task was to rate the bonnets on a 100-point continuous preference scale, based on how visually attractive they found each bonnet. Preferences were compared between the two groups of participants and the conservation methods. The bonnets with crepeline were the most preferred, and those with laid couching were the least preferred, among both groups of participants.

  • 38.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Jeon, J.Y.
    Rådsten-Ekman, Maria
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Hong, J.Y.
    Jang, H.S.
    A soundwalk study on the relationship between soundscape and overall quality of urban outdoor places2012In: Acoustics 2012, Hong Kong, Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Institute of Acoustics (HKIOA) , 2012Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In a field study we explored the relationship between the soundscape and the overall quality (good - bad) of outdoor open places. Thirty three residents in down town Stockholm participated in soundwalks near their homes. Along the soundwalk route the participants assessed six places with respect to the soundscape the visual environment and the overall quality of the place using a questionnaire. The six locations were preselected to vary in acoustic and visual quality. A regression model with pleasantness of the auditory and visual environment as predictors explained a substantial part of the variance in assessments of the six place's overall quality. To disentangle the specific effects of auditory and visual aspects the present study will be complemented with laboratory experiments in which visual and auditory aspects are independently manipulated.

  • 39.
    Rådsten-Ekman, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology. Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
    Effects of Sounds from Water on Perception of Acoustic Environments Dominated by Road-Traffic Noise2013In: Acta Acoustica united with Acustica, ISSN 1610-1928, E-ISSN 1861-9959, Vol. 99, no 2, p. 218-225Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As a complement to conventional noise mitigation, addition of wanted sounds, in particular sounds from water structures, has been suggested as a method for improving noise-polluted acoustic environments. The effect of adding water sounds to road-traffic noise was explored in a listening experiment with 31 listeners. Recordings of road-traffic noise were combined with recordings of waters sounds of varying pleasantness, and the listeners assessed the sounds on eight adjective scales, representing the perceptual dimensions Pleasantness and Eventfulness. The results showed that overall pleasantness increased when a highly pleasant water sound was added to the road-traffic noise. For less pleasant water sounds, no effect, or a decrease in pleasantness, was found. In addition, pleasant water sounds increased perceived eventfulness.

  • 40.
    Rådsten-Ekman, Maria
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Axelsson, Östen
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Nilsson, Mats E.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
    Perception of water generated sounds and road traffic noise in combination2011In: Proceedings of Inter-Noise 2011, Osaka, Japan: The Institute of Noise Control Engineering of Japan and the Acoustical Society of Japan , 2011Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    A listening experiment was conducted to explore whether the perceived quality of an acoustic environment dominated by road traffic noise may be improved by adding pleasant water sounds. In a pilot study, 15 listeners assessed 14 water sounds on eight attribute scales. The results revealed a large variability in perceived pleasantness of water sounds. In the main experiment, 21 listeners assessed single and combined road-traffic and water sounds. The results indicated that when a pleasant water sound (sea waves) was added to the unpleasant road traffic noise it had a positive effect on the overall pleasantness of the combined sound, whereas an unpleasant water sound (waterfall) had a negative effect on the overall pleasantness of the combined sound. Adding water sounds to road traffic either increased or left unchanged but never decreased the eventfulness of the acoustic environment. Thus, the results suggest that adding a pleasant water sound may improve the overall pleasantness of a noisy acoustic environment. However, the perceived eventfulness of the acoustic environment may also increase, which may not be desirable if the goal is a calm acoustic environment.

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