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Environ Manage. 2011 Jul;48(1):89-97. doi: 10.1007/s00267-011-9680-x. Epub 2011 May 22.

Effects of soundscapes on perceived crowding and encounter norms.

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Department of Forestry, Chonnam National University, 300 Yongbong-dong, Bukgu, Gwang-ju, 500-757, Seoul, Republic of Korea.


Soundscapes in recreation settings are becoming an important issue, but there are few studies of the effects of sounds on recreation experiences, especially crowding perceptions and encounter norms. This study compared effects of six types of sounds (an airplane, a truck engine, children playing, birds, water, and a control) on perceived crowding (PC) and encounter norms for hikers. Data were collected from 47 college students through lab experiments using simulated images, with moving hikers inserted in the original photo taken in the Jungmeori area of Mudeungsan Provincial Park in Korea. Overall, the motor-made sounds of the airplane and truck engine increased PC and decreased acceptability ratings, and the natural sounds of birds and water decreased PC and increased acceptability ratings. Ratings of the sound of children playing were similar to those in the control (i.e., no sound). In addition, as numbers of hikers increased, the overall effects of sounds decreased, and there were few significant differences in PC or acceptability ratings at the highest encounter levels. Theoretical and methodological implications are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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