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Comparisons on the perceptions of reproduced urban soundfields and urban soundscapes : a mixed model approach

Ackroyd, TA 2015, Comparisons on the perceptions of reproduced urban soundfields and urban soundscapes : a mixed model approach , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Soundfield reproduction has a vast array of applications, yet the ecological validity – and external validity – has been little researched beyond the narrow limits of the physical approach. This mixed model research explored the differing perception of reproduced urban soundfields and urban soundscapes. The methodology analysed the influences of: auralisation technique; soundscape; place affordances; time; space; and memory – subject agency and expertise. Three methods of data collection and analysis were employed: a semantic differential analysis and two psycholinguistic methods – one existing and one novel. The semantic differentials’ soundscape dimensions of the public’s response from in situ listening were replicated by participants’ responses from ambisonic reproduction but not binaural. A generalised soundscape dimension model was proposed that integrates the structural model of appraisal theory with the interpretation of motivation-affordance fit and mediation dimensions. Different soundscapes were evaluated differently and stimulated differing processes of perception, which in turn effected reproducibility. A focus group was used as well as members of the public and laboratory participants. It was found that experts responded more in terms of source identification. Existing methods found no significant difference between in situ and ambisonic listening. The novel method found the ambisonic soundfield was described in terms of objects in motion or sound objects whilst the binaural soundfield and in situ soundscape were described in terms of sources or activity. As an assessment of external validity, the novel psycholinguistic method found that binaural reproduction held validity over ambisonic reproduction. An in situ real-time binaural reproduction test sought to isolate the ‘electroacoustic ear’ – the findings were consolidated and discussed in terms of embodiment and ventriloquism. The novel psycholinguistic analysis provided a more accurate representation of the cognitive process of soundscape perception and is offered as a tool for the external validity assessment of urban soundfield reproduction.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > Salford Innovation Research Centre (SIRC)
Funders: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)
Depositing User: T Ackroyd
Date Deposited: 09 Nov 2015 14:45
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2015 14:45

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