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J Acoust Soc Am. 2009 Jul;126(1):195-207. doi: 10.1121/1.3139904.

Policy discourse, people's internal frames, and declared aircraft noise annoyance: an application of Q-methodology.

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  • 1Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, Delft University of Technology, Delft, The Netherlands. m.kroesen@tudelft.nl


Aircraft noise annoyance is studied extensively, but often without an explicit theoretical framework. In this article, a social approach for noise annoyance is proposed. The idea that aircraft noise is meaningful to people within a socially produced discourse is assumed and tested. More particularly, it is expected that the noise policy discourse influences people's assessment of aircraft noise. To this end, Q-methodology is used, which, to the best of the authors' knowledge, has not been used for aircraft noise annoyance so far. Through factor analysis five distinct frames are revealed: "Long live aviation!," "aviation: an ecological threat," "aviation and the environment: a solvable problem," "aircraft noise: not a problem," and "aviation: a local problem." It is shown that the former three frames are clearly related to the policy discourse. Based on this observation it is argued that policy making is a possible mechanism through which the sound of aircraft is turned into annoyance. In addition, it is concluded that the experience of aircraft noise and, in particular, noise annoyance is part of coherent frames of mind, which consist of mutually reinforcing positions and include non-acoustical factors.

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