Browse Publications Technical Papers 2008-36-0529
2008-03-30

Developing psychometric instruments for evaluation of sound quality: Why and how to explore attributes and semantics related to sound and sound quality 2008-36-0529

Within modern sound engineering the individual perception of sound events has to be considered and assessed by adequate means. Psychometric instruments are suitable for this objective and all over the world several instruments for the assessment of sound and sound quality have already been developed. Adaptation of such an instrument to the target population is not without problems and a successful adaptation process addresses complex issues, for instance, semantic structure. As the semantics of instruments can not simply be translated an investigation into the semantics related to the concept of interest is important. This article offers guidelines for this step, which can be described as an investigation of the attributes and items related to sound and sound quality. This part of the development procedure is, in constrast to the statistical validation procedure, not usually sufficiently described in the literature. An even greater lack is evident concerning the special needs of sound and sound quality assessment procedures. The article will discuss the problems related to semantic structures in psychometric instruments and discuss ways to devise the semantic elements required in such instruments for the assessment of sound and sound quality. The techniques described can also be used to investigate attributes and descriptors useful for many other applications related to sound, e.g. in computerized interfaces (interfaces for sound synthesizers, sound databases, videoconferencing systems, etc.) or in the broader sense of gaining indications for further research related to human perception of and attitudes towards sound.

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