Meaning from environmental sounds: Types of signal-referent relations and their effect on recognizing auditory icons. Keller, P. and Stevens, C. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, 10(1):3--12, 2004.
abstract   bibtex   
This article addresses the learnability of auditory icons, that is, environmental sounds that refer either directly or indirectly to meaningful events. Direct relations use the sound made by the target event whereas indirect relations substitute a surrogate for the target. Across 3 experiments, different indirect relations (ecological, in which target and surrogate coexist in the world; metaphorical, in which target and surrogate have similar appearance or function, and random) were compared with one another and with direct relations on measures including associative strength ratings, amount of exposure required for learning, and response times for recognizing icons. Findings suggest that performance is best with direct relations, worst with random relations, and that ecological and metaphorical relations involve distinct types of association but do not differ in learnability. Auditory warnings are used in diverse types of human–machine interfaces, including personal computers (Gaver, 1986), hospital equipment (Momtahan, Hetu, & Tansley, 1993), and high performance aircraft (Doll & Folds, 1986). These operating systems differ in terms of the nature of the information being transmitted, the number of potential warnings, concurrent task demands, and
@article{keller_meaning_2004,
	title = {Meaning from environmental sounds: {Types} of signal-referent relations and their effect on recognizing auditory icons},
	volume = {10},
	shorttitle = {Meaning from environmental sounds},
	abstract = {This article addresses the learnability of auditory icons, that is, environmental sounds that refer either directly or indirectly to meaningful events. Direct relations use the sound made by the target event whereas indirect relations substitute a surrogate for the target. Across 3 experiments, different indirect relations (ecological, in which target and surrogate coexist in the world; metaphorical, in which target and surrogate have similar appearance or function, and random) were compared with one another and with direct relations on measures including associative strength ratings, amount of exposure required for learning, and response times for recognizing icons. Findings suggest that performance is best with direct relations, worst with random relations, and that ecological and metaphorical relations involve distinct types of association but do not differ in learnability. Auditory warnings are used in diverse types of human–machine interfaces, including personal computers (Gaver, 1986), hospital equipment (Momtahan, Hetu,  \& Tansley, 1993), and high performance aircraft (Doll \& Folds, 1986). These operating systems differ in terms of the nature of the information being transmitted, the number of potential warnings, concurrent task demands, and},
	number = {1},
	journal = {Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied},
	author = {Keller, Peter and Stevens, Catherine},
	year = {2004},
	keywords = {\_tablet},
	pages = {3--12}
}
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