Perceptual and Motor Skiik, 1990, 70, 129-130. O Perceptual and Motor Skills 1990

WEINSTEIN'S NOISE SENSITIVITY SCALE: RELIABILITY AND CONSTRUCT VALIDITY ' BO EKEHAMMAR AND STAN DORNIC' Department of Psychology, Universify of Stockholm Summary.-Psychometric properties (reliability, internal consistency, factor structure, and construct validity) of the Swedish version of the Noise Sensitivity Scale were satisfactory. Support for the external validity of Weinstein's findings was described.

Auditory environmental pollution, generally referred to as noise, is probably the most widespread stressor. Individual differences in noise tolerance are notoriously large (e.g., Broadbent, 1972), and the need to study them is obvious. Looking at noise sensitivity as a relatively stable personality trait, Weinstein (1978) designed the Noise Sensitivity Scale consisting of items that deal with affective reactions to noise in a variety of situations. The scale has been shown to have satisfactory predictive validity in field research (e.g., Weinstein, 1978; Topf, 1985) and, as shown recently (Dornic, Laaksonen, & Ekehammar, 1989), also in laboratory settings. T h s note presents results from reliability and validity analyses of a Swedish version of the scale. Subjects were 236 students (77% women) of the University of Stockholm who took part in one of six experiments on general and specific noise sensitivity (cf. Dornic, et al., 1989). Like the original version, the Swedish translation (cf. Dornic, et a]., 1989) of the scale comprises 21 items presented on a 6-point scale, ranging from (most often) 'agree strongly' (0) to 'disagree strongly' (5). The unweighted sum of all items (after reversed coding of 14 items) makes up the person's total noise-sensitivity score (the higher the score the higher the sensitivity). Further, a subsample (n = 166) made self-ratings of stress tolerance on scales from O (very low) to 5 (very high) for (a) noise stress (SST-N), (b) information overload (SST-I), and (c) emotional stress (SST-E). Item means ranged between 1.5 and 3.5, with an average of 2.7 (theoretical item mean = 2.5). The total scale mean was 57.5 (SD= 12.61, Range = 25-90). These figures are similar to those reported for Weinstein's (1978) college sample (M = 54.6, SD = 12.1, Range = 25-90). The total score distribution was almost symmetrical (skewness = .03) and mesokurtic (kurtosis = -.12), and so close to a normal distribution.

'This study was supported b Grant No. 851220 from the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation to the second autlor. Address correspondence to Bo Ekehammar, Department of pychology, Universi of Stockholm, S-10691 Stockholm, Sweden. Dr. Stan Dornic dieTquite unexpectedly, on December 16, 1989.



The split-half reliability coefficient was 0.848 and the Cronbach alpha coefficient was 0.841 (standardized item alpha = 0.850). The reliability estimates were of the same magnitude as those reported by Weinstein (1978). The interitem correlations were with a few exceptions positive, varying between -0.10 and 0.56, with an average of 0.21. The item-total correlations were all positive and relatively high, varying between 0.11 (Item 12) and 0.73 (Item 21). A principal components factor analysis yielded only one major factor (eigenvalue=5.65) which explained 26.9% of the total variance (the other factors explained less than 7.7% each), thereby confirming the unidimensional nature of the scale. The factor loadings on the main factor were substantial for all items except Item 12 ("It wouldn't bother me to hear the sounds of everyday living from neighbors-footsteps, running water, etc."). Exclusion of Item 12 gave a certain improvement of all psychometric indices presented above. Finally, the correlations between the total score and self-rated stress tolerance (SST), indicating construct (concurrent) validity, displayed a picture in accord with expectations; the highest correlation was shown for selfrated noise tolerance (SST-N, r = -.334, p < ,001) and the lowest for emotional (SSTE, r = -. 181, p < .010) and information overload stress (SST-I, r = -.208, p < .004). To sum up, the psychometric properties of the Swedish version of the Noise Sensitivity Scale were quite satisfactory with regards to reliability, internal consistency, factor structure, and construct validity. Also, the external validity (generalizability) of the Weinstein (1978) findings were supported. REFERENCES BROADBENT, D. E. (1972) Individual diFferences in annoyance by noise. Sound, 6 , 56-61. DORNIC,S., LAAKSONEN, T., & EKEHAMMAR, B. (1989) Noise sensitivity: general self-report vs. noise effect in laboratory situations. Technical Reports from the project 'Human information processing under stress,' Department of Psychology, University of Stockholm. TOPF, M. (1985) Personal and environmental predictors of patient disturbance due to hospital noise. Journal of Applied Prycbology, 70, 22-28. WEINSTEM,N. D. (1978) Individual differences in reaction to noise: a longitudinal study in a college dormitory. Journal of Applied Pxycbology, 63, 458-466.

Accepted January 31, 1990.

Weinstein's Noise Sensitivity Scale: reliability and construct validity.

Psychometric properties (reliability, internal consistency, factor structure, and construct validity) of the Swedish version of the Noise Sensitivity ...
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