The Effect of Prior Noise or Prior Performance on Serial Reaction,
ROYAL NAVAL PERSONNEL RESEARCH COMMITTEE LONDON (ENGLAND)
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Thirteen naval ratings performed the 5-choice serial reaction task for 40 min, and also for the last 20 min of a 40 min period, under each of the following 4 conditions 1 Quiet for the full 40 min. 2 100dBA noise for the full 40 min. 3 Quiet for the first 20 min followed by noise for the last 20 min. 4 Noise followed by quiet. Overall performance during the last 20 min was assessed by the sum of errors, and gaps longer than 1.5 sec between responses. The time interval between successive responses was measured to the nearest 0.2 sec. Compared with quiet for the full 40 min, performance during the last 20 min was impaired to about the same extent by working in noise after 20 min in quiet, as by working in quiet after 20 min in noise. Noise for the full 40 min produced the greatest impairment. Errors were more likely to have response times of 0.4 sec and below than were correct responses. It follows that after a person has been exposed to high intensity noise for an appreciable period of time, he may need a period in quiet in order to regain the level of efficiency which he had before he was exposed to the noise.
- Human Factors Engineering and Man Machine Systems