A taxonomy of sound sources in restaurants
Date of Issue2016
School of Art, Design and Media
Restaurants are complex environments engaging all our senses. More or less designable sound sources, such as background music, voices, and kitchen noises, influence the overall perception of the soundscape. Previous research suggested typologies of sounds in some environmental contexts, such as urban parks and offices, but there is no detailed account that is relevant to restaurants. We collected on-site data in 40 restaurants (n = 393), including perceptual ratings, free-form annotations of characteristic sounds and whether they were liked or not, and free-form descriptive words for the environment as a whole. The annotations were subjected to cladistic analysis, yielding a multi-level taxonomy of perceived sound sources in restaurants (SSR) with good construct validity and external robustness. Further analysis revealed that voice-related characteristic sounds including a ‘people’ specifier were more liked than those without it (d = 0.14 SD), possibly due to an emotional crossmodal association mechanism. Liking of characteristic sounds differed between the first and last annotations that respondents made (d = 0.21 SD), which might be due to an initially positive bias being countered by exposure to a task inducing a mode of critical listening. Comparing the SSR taxonomy with previous classifications, we believe it will prove useful for field research, simulation design, and sound perception theory.
© 2016 The Author. Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/)