University of Twente Student Theses


Sound in different environments ; Sound levels and sound perception in dutch cinemas and the effect of warning messages

Scholte Lubberink, Martijn (2013) Sound in different environments ; Sound levels and sound perception in dutch cinemas and the effect of warning messages.

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Abstract:Sound levels and sound perception are interesting topics which can be studied in almost any environment where sound exists. However, the focus of this study is quite exceptional. The objective of the first study was to get insight in the actual sound levels in Dutch cinemas during an action movie and how visitors perceive these sound levels. Sound levels in cinemas have been studied rarely and results from these studies are not unambiguous. High sound levels can result in Noise Induced Hearing Loss and yet it was not clear if these sound levels were reached in Dutch cinemas. Next to that, sound perception of visitors has not been measured. In other words, it was not clear if visitors of cinemas are satisfied with the current sound levels. Warning messages are commonly used within society and are applied on many products and in many environments. For example the tobacco products, chemical products and toy products are easy examples of products which use warning messages. But not only on products warning messages are used, considering constructions areas and warning messages for content on television. As far as is known warning message are hardly used within sound level environments. The second study investigated what kind of influence warning messages have whenever they are used in sound level environments. By selecting four completely different cinemas a sample was set up in order to conduct the sound level measurements and investigate the sound perception of the visitors. Every cinema was visited six times, diffused over week, weekend, midday, eve and evening show times. Summarized, twentyfour shows of the same movie were visited to construct a reliable sample. In total 359 respondents participated on study one after the sound levels of the movie were measured. A small auditory room with a high end sound system was arranged to divide the 120 participants randomly in four experimental groups (70 dBA with warning / 70 dBA without warning / 90 dBA with warning / 90 dBA without warning). The participants watched a short trailer before they answered the questionnaire. The sound levels during an action movie are not hazardous for the visitors, since the sound levels stayed beneath the limits of definitive NIHL. The average sound level (64.30 dBA) can be described as comfortable. Nevertheless the sound levels in Dutch cinemas can be annoying, especially the maximum sound levels. During the study an absolute maximum sound level of 106 dBA was measured and this sound level is for a lot of people annoying; however visitors are only exposed to these kinds of sound levels for a short period. The perception of the visitors during the action movie is in line with the objective measurement. The average sound level is reviewed as comfortable by most of the respondents, while a majority of the respondents think the maximum sound level as loud. The maximum sound level is assessed as too loud or painfully loud by a quarter of the respondents. Yet it can be stated that the sound levels are a part of the cinema experience, since most of the respondents would not change their visiting behavior nor change the change sound level. It turns out that the warning message had a minor influence on the sound perception of the participants. Whenever the participants were warned, they perceived the sound level slightly more comfortable. Thereby the presence of the warning message was appreciated and enhanced the knowledge of the participants, even more whenever the respondents were exposed to higher sound levels.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:05 communication studies
Programme:Communication Studies MSc (60713)
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