Influence of Context Effects on Sound Quality Assessments

Invited paper

André Fiebig

HEAD acoustics GmbH

Wednesday 3 june, 2015, 15:00 - 15:20

0.2 Berlin (90)

The process of (product) sound quality assessment usually takes place in complex settings. Accordingly, in addition to the perception of sound character representing basic auditory sensations, further information is processed, finally resulting in a sound quality assessment. According to Blauert, a quality judgment starts from a set of recognized features compared to a “reference set” of features. The distance between these sets represents the perceived quality. Spatial, temporal, semantic, multimodal or response contexts substantially influence the perceived distance between recognized and expected features. Moreover, auditory sensations, thought to represent lower cognitive processes, are prone to context effects as well. But the influence of context effects on sound perception should not be understood as a kind of bias: such phenomena are related to the way humans perceive their environment in everyday life. The paper illustrates, by means of some case studies, the importance of the sound character and the impact of contextual circumstances on the assessment of sound quality. It is intended to provide a deeper understanding of modifying factors beyond the acoustical stimulus, which are integrated into (quality) judgments of sound.

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