Loudness Discomfort Level and Reliability As A Function of Instructional Set

Steven P. Bornstcin, Frank E. Musick

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12 Scopus citations


Loudness discomfort level and reliability as a function of instructional set. Bornstein, S.P. and Musiek, F.E. (Department of Communication Disorders, School of Health and Human Services, University of New Hampshire, Durham, New Hampshire, and Section of Audiology and Otolaryngology, Department of Surgery, Section of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center, Hanover, New Hampshire, USA.) Scand Audiol 1993; 22: 125-131 Loudness discomfort levels (LDLs) for a 12-speaker babble were measured in 20 subjects with normal hearing sensitivity for two instructional sets, listening in the sound field. One instructional set asked the listener to indicate when they would choose ‘not to listen for any period of time”. The second instructional set asked the listeners to indicate when they ‘would choose not to listen for 15 minutes or longer’. A simple up down adaptive procedure was used to measure LDLs. Data were gathered on both instructional sets for all listeners. LDLs for each instructional set were repeated on four separate occasions within a range of 1 3 weeks. The average LDLs for lhc instructions utilizing the criterion of choosing not to listen for any period of time were 9dB higher than the criterion of choosing not to listen for 15 minutes or longer. The reliability of LDLs for both instructional sets was high, ranging from correlations of 0.90 0.97 for the criterion of choosing not to listen for any period of time, and ranging from correlations of 0.62 0.89 for the criterion of listening for 15 minutes or longer. The criterion of choosing not to listen for any period of time resulted in slightly more reliable measures. These results support the importance of considering the instructions given to a person to measure LDLs, and hence for where to set the saturation sound pressure level of a healing aid. Also, with appropriate methods, LDLs can be reliably measured in the sound field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)125-131
Number of pages7
JournalScandinavian Audiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1993



  • instructional set
  • loudness discomfort level
  • reliability
  • sound field

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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