The Effect of Noise on Human Performance: A Clinical Trial

P Nassiri, M Monazam, B Fouladi Dehaghi, L Ibrahimi Ghavam Abadi, SA Zakerian, K Azam


Background: Noise is defined as unwanted or meaningless sound that apart from auditory adverse health effects may distract attention from cues that are important for task performance. Human performance is influenced by many job-related factors and workplace conditions including noise level.

Objective: To study the effect of noise on human performance.

Methods: The participants included 40 healthy male university students. The experimental design consisted of 3 (sound pressure level) x 3 (noise schedule) x 2 (noise type) factors. To investigate occupational skill performance, some specific test batteries were used: 1) steadiness test, 2) Minnesota manual dexterity test, 3) hand tool dexterity test, and 4) two-arm coordination test. Time duration of test completion was measured as speed response; to determine error response, the time taken during committing an error by participants while performing a task was measured.

Results: Speed response obtained from the 4 tests in combined conditions of noise schedule, harmonic index, and sound pressure level was highest for (intermittent, treble, 95 dB), (continuous, treble, 95 dB), (continuous, treble, 85 dB) and (intermittent, treble, 95 dB), respectively.

Conclusion: Treble noise was found significant in reducing human performance; also, intermittent noise, especially at high pressure levels, was responsible for worsening environmental conditions during performing a task.


Noise; Occupational employee performance appraisal; Psychomotor performance; Environmental exposure

 pISSN: 2008-6520
 eISSN: 2008-6814

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