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Quantifying Auditory Perception: Dimensions of Pleasantness and Unpleasantness

Psychoacoustic attributes like roughness, sharpness, tonality, and fluctuation strength are often used to explain and calculate major properties of sound. While in general these properties are well understood, the concept of “pleasantness” depends on several factors. Investigating the underlying dimensions of pleasantness was the goal of the presented studies. The perception of psychoacoustic attributes was assessed for 22 different audio stimuli by more than 15 listeners. In addition the perception of pleasantness and unpleasantness for these items was evaluated. All tests were conducted in laboratory as well as home environment. The results showed that a link between psychoacoustic attributes and concept of pleasantness could be established. Surprisingly, the relation between the single attributes and pleasantness changed dependent on the applied analysis method.

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