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Year : 2003  |  Volume : 6  |  Issue : 21  |  Page : 77--89

Noise and mental performance : Personality attributes and noise sensitivity


University of Belgrade, Faculty of Medicine, Institute of Hygiene and Medical Ecology, Serbia

Correspondence Address:
G Belojevic
Institute of Hygiene and Medical Ecology School of Medicine, University of Belgrade Dr Subotica 8, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


PMID: 14965455

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The contradictory and confusing results in noise research on humans may partly be due to individual differences between the subjects participating in different studies. This review is based on a twelve year research on the role of neuroticism, extroversion and subjective noise sensitivity during mental work in noisy environment. Neurotic persons might show enhanced "arousability" i.e. their arousal level increases more in stress. Additional unfavorable factors for neurotics are worrying and anxiety, which might prevent them coping successfully with noise, or some other stressors during mental performance. In numerous experiments introverts have showed higher sensitivity to noise during mental performance compared to extroverts, while extroverts often cope with a boring task even by requesting short periods of noise during performance. Correlation analyses have regularly revealed a highly significant negative relation between extroversion and noise annoyance during mental processing. Numerous studies have shown that people with high noise sensitivity may be prevented from achieving the same work results as other people in noisy environment, thus leading to psycho­somatic, neurotic or other difficulties. Positive relation between noise annoyance and subjective noise sensitivity might be very strong. Our results have shown, after matching with the results of other relevant studies, that more stable personality, with extroversive tendencies and with a relatively lower subjective noise sensitivity measured with standard questionnaires, may be expected to better adapt to noise during mental performance, compared to people with opposite personality traits.






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