Nonauditory Effects of Noise on Behavior and Health

Date of Original Version

Winter 1981



Abstract or Description

This article presents an overview of research and theory on the nonauditory effects of noise on human behavior and health. Laboratory and naturalistic research on the effects of noise on human performance, interpersonal behavior, annoyance, cognitive development, and mental and physical health are reviewed. The review includes studies of children as well as adults, and the discussion emphasizes the relevance of this research for predicting the effect of noise in community and industrial settings. Noise effects are viewed as determined by variations in psychological characteristics of a situation as well as the physical parameters of the sound. Predictability and controllability of a noise, its meaning for the respondent and its degree of interference with auditory communication are factors that mediate the effects of noise across a variety of outcome measures.




Published In

Journal of Social Issues , 37, 1, 36-70.