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Realism and ecological validity of sound quality experiments on household appliances
Citation key Steffens.2013
Author Steffens, Jochen
Title of Book Soundscape of European Cities and Landscapes
Pages 132–135
Year 2013
Editor Kang, Jian and Chourmouziadou and Sakantamis, K. and Wang, B. and Hao, Y.
Abstract Test environments in sound quality research often significantly differ from human's everyday world. Hence the claim for ecological validity of such experiments is reasonable, but too vague in its bare formulation. The estimation of ecological validity requires theoretical knowledge about the meaning and the totality of factors influencing everyday listening and their interaction. Therefore the influence of ``reality factors'' on the sound evaluation of household appliances was investigated within the framework of nine experiments. These tests were performed in four different settings with varied reality degrees. The psychological realism and the perceived face validity of the tests were examined by means of interviews. The results reveal, on the one hand, that stimuli are perceived as more pleasant in everyday-like environments. The analysis of the relative judgments shows, on the other hand, that the influence of the experimental realism is moderated by a number of factors. These are the saliency and meaning of the sounds, differences between the assessed devices, and personality traits. The correlation and regression analysis confirms that the perceived sound character is widely independent from experimental realism. However, there is great empirical evidence, that valid assessments of sound quality require the reconstruction of everyday attention and action processes.
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