Human Responses to Simulated Motorized Noise in National Parks
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Natural sounds contribute to high-quality experiences for visitors to protected areas. This study investigated the effects of three common sources of recreational motorized noise on laboratory participants' evaluations of landscape scenes. Seventy-five study participants completed landscape assessments along eight aesthetic and experiential dimensions while listening to audio clips of natural sounds, propeller planes, motorcycles, and snowmobiles. The change from the natural sound baseline for each motorized source of noise was calculated. Results indicated that all motorized sources of noise had detrimental impacts on evaluations of landscape quality compared with natural sounds. Motorcycle noise was demonstrated to have the largest negative impact on landscape assessments. In addition to confirming that noise from motorized recreation has significant impacts on the experiences of potential park visitors, this simulation suggests that the specific source of the noise is an important factor in determining observer evaluations of the quality of the natural environment. © 2014 Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
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