Table of Contents
ISRN Otolaryngology
Volume 2013, Article ID 902532, 6 pages
Research Article

The Relationship between Personality Type and Acceptable Noise Levels: A Pilot Study

1University of Arkansas at Little Rock, Audiology and Speech Pathology UP600, 2801 S. University Avenue, Little Rock, AR 72204, USA
2University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Audiology and Speech Pathology, 4301 W. Markham Street, No. 702, Little Rock, AR 72205, USA
3Missouri State University, Communication Sciences and Disorders, Professional Building, 901 S. National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65897, USA
4University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Office of Educational Development, 4301 West Markham Street, No. 595 Little Rock, AR 72205, USA

Received 2 August 2013; Accepted 2 October 2013

Academic Editors: A. Horii and J. M. Millan

Copyright © 2013 Cliff Franklin et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. This study examined the relationship between acceptable noise level (ANL) and personality. ANL is the difference between a person’s most comfortable level for speech and the loudest level of background noise they are willing to accept while listening to speech. Design. Forty young adults with normal hearing participated. ANLs were measured and two personality tests (Big Five Inventory, Myers-Briggs Type Indicator) were administered. Results. The analysis revealed a correlation between ANL and the openness and conscientious personality dimensions from the Big Five Inventory; no correlation emerged between ANL and the Myers-Briggs personality types. Conclusions. Lower ANLs are correlated with full-time hearing aid use and the openness personality dimension; higher ANLs are correlated with part-time or hearing aid nonuse and the conscientious personality dimension. Current data suggest that those more open to new experiences may accept more noise and possibly be good hearing aid candidates, while those more conscientious may accept less noise and reject hearing aids, based on their unwillingness to accept background noise. Knowing something about a person’s personality type may help audiologists determine if their patients will likely be good candidates for hearing aids.