This study uses methods that control for noise level and data quality to objectively evaluate the evidence on 22 personal and situational explanations for annoyance with environmental noise in residential areas. The balance of the evidence from 464 findings drawn from 136 surveys suggests that annoyance is not affected to an important extent by ambient noise levels, the amount of time residents are at home, the type of interviewing method, or any of the nine demographic variables (age, sex, social status, income, education, home ownership, type of dwelling, length of residence, or receipt of benefits from the noise source). Annoyance is related to the amount of isolation from sound at home and to five attitudes (fear of danger from the noise source, noise prevention beliefs, general noise sensitivity, beliefs about the importance of the noise source, and annoyance with non‐noise impacts of the noise source). The evidence is too evenly divided to indicate whether changes in noise environments cause residents to be annoyed more, less, or about the same as would be expected in long‐established noise environments. The evidence shows that even at low noise levels (below DNL 55 dB), a small percentage are highly annoyed and that the extent of annoyance is related to noise exposure.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.