Blaugust Day Three Sound Impressions: A Salford Acoustics Experiment

A few days ago, The University of Salford’s Acoustics Department posted a link to an online survey/experiment called ‘Making Sense of Sound’ which (after I’d hunted down headphones and then realised that I didn’t need them) turned out to be about grouping sounds, that is, choosing words from a list and putting them in groups. You then had to choose a title for each of your five groups.

The link to the survey (assuming it’s still live whenever you’re reading this) is ‘Sort our Everyday Sounds’ on http://www.sound101.org

It was quite hard not to overthink this, as I only had a short time to do it in! (And there really isn’t a wrong answer.) The study seemed about the psychology of how we categorise and understand sound, and after end of the experiment, a page came up which explained a little more. The end goal is to improve audio search terms, so it was looking at a whole host of words that could be used to describe audio, from ‘urban’ to ‘unpleasant’ and trying to find out what people actually mean by those terms. It will be really interesting to see the results of this experiment, and how those results might have changed from the short-term study outlined on the web page.

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