Why are some people so quiet

Noise and psychology

Not everything that is loud has to be noise or be perceived as noise. The perception of noise depends on the subjective attitude towards the source of the noise as well as on one's own current situation or expectations. Quiet noises can be extremely annoying, or loud noises can be experienced as positive. In any case, noise cannot be described purely in terms of volume. Often other factors also play a role.

For example, the point in time at which the noise occurs is decisive: people feel annoyed by noise, especially when people are looking for peace and quiet. Social and personal assessments also play a role, because in principle noise means something different for each person. Church bells, for example, bother some people less than a running engine. Another factor that influences the perception of noise is its dynamics: the change from loud to quiet is particularly uncomfortable for many people.


When noises become a nuisance

Noise nuisance is when an activity is interrupted or hindered due to a noise that occurs. People react particularly sensitively when conversations are disturbed (for example a loud conversation at the next table which makes listening difficult), when they have to concentrate (for example learning in noisy classrooms), or want to sleep.

Social impact

Angry and disgruntled people are less friendly and helpful. Noise can cause such dissatisfaction. An experiment showed that when there was a lot of noise, passers-by were more likely to overlook the need for help of a fellow citizen than in comparatively quiet conditions.

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City of Vienna | environmental Protection
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