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Performance And Preference of Response Scales For Semantic Differentials in Auditory Perception Among University Students

Wonyoung Yang, Jin Yong Jeon


It is known that response scales are critical for achieving the quality of the responses. A unipolar 11-point numerical scale in accordance with ISO/TS 15666:2003 has been widely used for assessing auditory perception both indoors and outdoors, as well as for field assessments and psychoacoustic research. However, in many disciplines, a visual analogue scale has been used for more in-depth academic purposes. This study aims to compare the performance and preference of two response scales, a bipolar visual analogue scale, and a unipolar numeric scale, for semantic differentials in auditory perception using a web-based device. Two different response scales were compared in five acoustic stimuli (background noise level of 38 dBA, water sounds and traffic noise of 42 and 61 dBA, respectively) with two repeated measurements. Both response scales were acceptable for their performance of reliability and sensitivity. However, the bipolar visual analogue scale was more reliable than the unipolar 11-point numerical scale in repeated measurements, and the unipolar 11-point numerical scale was more sensitive than the bipolar visual analogue scale in distinguishing subtle differences between sound sources. The bipolar visual analogue scale was obviously preferred by participants. The choice of semantic adjectives is a critical prerequisite for determining response scales for auditory perception. In summary, a unipolar visual analogue scale is proposed for assessing auditory perception for psychoacoustic research purposes for young educated adults.


Response scales; unipolar scale; bipolar scale; visual analogue scale; 11-point numerical scale; respondent preference;

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