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.

Whining is the worst sound in the world, study confirms [MSNBC]