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E. Haas and J. Edworthy (1996)

Designing urgency into auditory warnings using pitch, speed and loudness

Computing & Control Engineering Journal, 7(4):193-198.

The article reports an experiment in which the effects of the pitch, speed and the loudness of auditory signals on both subjective perceived urgency and response time are explored. The results show that the signals producing the highest ratings of perceived urgency, as well as the fastest response times, are those with a high frequency, a fast speed and a high level of loudness. Increases in all three parameters produced increases in perceived urgency ratings individually, and increases in pitch and loudness also decreased response time. A modelling approach to perceived urgency is proposed which should enable prescribed levels of urgency to be built into auditory alarms and warnings.

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