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> > From: Sorrento95 <Sorrento95@aol.com>
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org
> > Subject: Re: Question
> > Date: dinsdag 16 december 1997 15:09
> > In a message dated 97-12-16 02:12:29 EST, Bob S writes:
> > >So, are people bothered but reluctant to complain -- or just not
> > >bothered at all?
> > As for your question, some of it might be explained by the
> > fact that people don't like to admit to being powerless. Rather
> > than admit that they hate the noise but don't know how to
> > stop it, they just pretend the noise doesn't bother them.
I do not agree with your reasoning. It is well-known that people react
intense to uncontrollable stressors. When one is able to stop the
for example an electric shock, one can endure the stressor for an longer
time period and higher frequency or intensity. In the case of
uncontrollable stressor one is also less able to act on them and will use
more emotional coping styles. Noise can be a stressor, therefore I expect
that uncontrollable noise is more difficult to 'reason away', and one will
be more stressed. However, people will be less inclined to do something
about it like complain. That is why people generally complain more at
landlord about loud music from their neighbors than about noise from
airplanes, which is more uncontrollable.
Furhtermore, when people are not made 'aware' of the negative impact of
noise, they are less bothered by it. Once you have been made sensitive to
it you will 'notice' it more often. When I say to you 'do not think of an
purple cow', you will immediately visualize a purple cow. People who are
homesick try very hard 'not to think of home'. But because they try to
forget they will always keep thinking of home. So, trying not to be
bothered is counterproductive and will lead to being more bothered. Once
people are aware of the negative impact of sound, they will direct their
attention more often to sound. And once you are bothered by noise it is
extremely difficult to pretend you are not bothered.
> > It also might be true that some of us are just more sensitive
> > to noise than others.
Extreme sound-sensitivity or sound-intolerance is a 'syndrome', described
by the psychotherapist Klaas Altena (at least in the Netherlands, mayby
there are others too). Those poeple go absolutely 'nuts' from 'normal'
sounds. They become very agitated and feel unable to do anything as long as
they hear the sound. So, the effect on normal social and psychological
functioning is extremely large (e.g., some of them are unable to shop in a
grocery store beacuse of the music). They might even become psychotic.
However, most of them do not seek psychiatric care because they are not
'ill'. Most of these patients indicate that they became sensitive to sounds
as a result of being bothered by noise for years.
Miranda van Tilburg
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