2004 Volume 17 Issue 7 Pages 270-277
In everyday life it is a common experience that when carrying out mental activities such as memory or arithmetic tasks, there is a greater psychological impression of annoyance caused by noise; with performance worsening because of this noise. This tendency is more apparent in the case of meaningful noise, such as music or conversation, than it is with meaningless noise, such as that from road traffic. This study considered whether masking meaningful noise with meaningless steady noise can reduce the psychological impression of annoyance from noise experienced during completion of a mental task. Specifically, the authors first discussed how the psychological impression of annoyance from noise and performance correlated to an index such as the percentage of correct answers or reaction time would change under the influence of meaningless noise or an interested/uninterested meaningful noise. Then, how the above items change when meaningful noise is masked with meaningless noise was investigated.