The World's Most Annoying Sound Is Whining, Says Science
Hooray for brave science, which has undertaken a new study to prove what the most annoying sound in the entire world is. These SUNY New Paltz researchers are intrepid, indeed! Analyzing people's reactions to sounds ranging from a buzz saw cutting wood to cloying baby talk to babies wailing (Call Obama!) to a kid whining -- all while the poor subjects were forced to do "simple math" -- the researchers found that the whines were the absolute worst, even if the subjects weren't parents, MSNBC reports. (In fact, a non-parent might find a whine worse, you'd think.)
"You're basically doing less work and doing it worse when you're listening to the whines," said study co-author Rosemarie Sokol Chang, a professor of psychology at SUNY New Paltz. "It doesn't matter if you're a man or a woman, everybody's equally distracted."
This is because there might be something evolutionary about whining -- it makes you pay attention, largely because it is so annoying. Though why a person would be attempting to do math problems at all in this day and age is beyond us.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.