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Why do high-frequency sounds make people more alert and create tension?

  1. Mar 20, 2009 #1

    I was wondering why high-frequency sounds make people more alert (often films use high-pitched sound to create tension).

    I was told it is something to do with high-frequency sounds having more energy so they seem closer to us and therefore have more immediate impact but I wasn't sure.

    Thank you
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 20, 2009 #2
  4. Mar 20, 2009 #3
    Thank you for your help- it's not quite what I'm trying to find out-your link was more about why low frequency sounds can have a negative effect on health. I'm more interested in the effects of high frequency sounds

    Thanks :smile:
  5. Mar 20, 2009 #4
    This sounds like a psychology question.
  6. Mar 21, 2009 #5
    There is one word to describe this phenomenon... irritation.

    Through any form of sensory irritation 2-things happen: a heightened sense of the event, and, a pseudo-automatic response to either accept it or "fight-or-flight"
  7. Mar 22, 2009 #6
    I'd agree with that, pallidin. High frequencies at a sustained note invoke a primeval alert response. But it cant be just the irritation alone. There is nothing more irritating than the unique disharmonics of a baby crying, with th exception of a practiced four or five year old, with better lungs, who has learned to apply what works best :tongue2:. Parents scramble, and strangers mutter. Sibblings take notes, and teenagers consider changing stomping grounds.

    It seems there should be a noun for the invoked feeling on hearing a high frequency alarm. I can't think what it is--other than perhaps 'alarmed'.
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2009
  8. Aug 29, 2011 #7
    The high-frequency is higher then your body frequency is,this will irritate you and may cause a little tension for you. For example, you go to the beach and listen to the waves crash,relaxing, because the wave frequency is at or near your body frequency. Also, a song you like very much is also at or very near your body frequency,and on the flip side, a song you really dislike is very far from your body frequency.
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