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Year : 2005  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 28  |  Page : 17--27

Complaint data as an index of annoyance-theoretical and methodological issues

1 Dept of Organisational Psychology, University of Dortmund, Germany
2 School of Psychology, University of Sydney, Australia
3 Department of Psychology,University of Copenhagen, Denmark

Correspondence Address:
M Maziul
Dept. 14, Organisational Psychology, University of Dortmund, Emil-Figge-Str. 50 Dortmund- 44227
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1463-1741.31628

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Complaining constitutes one facet of all reactions to noise annoyance and is one way to cope with annoyance due to aircraft noise. In order to value and to establish the usefulness of complaint data as an index of annoyance, four questions need to be answered: * Which factors lead annoyed residents to complain about aircraft noise or related issues? * Which factors keep annoyed residents from complaining? * Are the existing ways to handle annoyance adequate and efficient (e.g. keeping track of complaints, reaction to complains, kinds of complaint services)? * Which are new ways to handle annoyance adequately and efficiently? In this paper a first attempt to answer these questions is made. Obviously, complaint data do not reflect noise annoyance in the surroundings of airports to the full extent as there are residents living in affected areas who do not complain, as well as residents living in areas with relatively low noise levels who complain. Also there is a large group of people who declare to be highly annoyed and yet, they do not lodge any complaint. Possible intervening factors are gathered that determine if an annoyed resident takes action and complains. It was found that noise levels per se are not the crucial factor for residents' decisions to complain or not to complain. Personal as well as feasibility factors play a vital role. Yet, the ongoing controversy on the relation between annoyance and complaint behavior seems not resolved yet. However, complaint behavior seems to be influenced by various aspects and complaint data consequently cannot be accepted as an accurate measure of public annoyance. Further research is required to address the preferred method of handling reaction to noise and the extent to which complaint itself helps with coping, for different groups of residents.


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