Motivation and acceptability norms of human-caused sound in Muir Woods National Monument

Lelaina D. Marin, Peter Newman, Robert Manning, Jerry J. Vaske, David Stack

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

60 Scopus citations


Acceptability of sound, natural or human-caused, was predicted to vary by an individual's motivation for quiet at Muir Woods National Monument. This study used a dose-response methodology where visitors (n = 157; response rate = 54%) listened to five audio recordings varying in the percentage of time that human-caused sound was louder than natural sound (percent time above). Visitors then rated the acceptability (pleasing to annoying) of each recording. Cluster analysis was used to segment individuals into three homogenous groups based on their motivations (i.e., low, moderate, and high motivation for quiet) for visiting the park. Results indicated that as percent time above natural sound increased, visitor ratings of human-caused sound decreased. Reactions to human-caused sound also decreased as motivation for quiet increased. Consensus regarding the acceptability of sound was greatest when the percent time above natural sound was lowest (i.e., quietest sounds). Recommendations are offered for setting standards to meet soundscape objectives.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)147-161
Number of pages15
JournalLeisure Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management


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