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Factors Affecting Individual and Group Levels in Verbal Communication

The level employed in a verbal exchange between two individuals who are in face-to-face contact with each other is affected primarily by the level of the ambient noise, the nature of the communication task involved, and the distance separating the participants. However, when a similar but visually isolated exchange takes place over a two-way loudspeaker system, little effect on vocal output is introduced by changes in circuit gain. For group situations such as social hours, auditorium, and theater environments, etc., the level employed is affected primarily by the interference of the surrounding vocal output to give an enhanced rate of increase (with increasing numbers) not found in the privacy of the isolated exchange. The significance of the results in terms of control of the background babble of the participating crowd is considered.

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JAES Volume 19 Issue 7 pp. 560-569; July 1971
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