At the frontiers of science - HEARsmart

Mar 2019: Check out our new research published in Frontiers in Psychology, where we suggest that reducing hearing risk in music venues may best be achieved not by telling people what to do, but by listening to what they actually want. We conducted an online survey of 993 regular patrons of nightclubs and live music venues, and asked about their preferences in relation to typical venue sound levels and beliefs about other attendees’ preferences. Results showed that the majority of regular patrons were dissatisfied with current sound levels, with around three-quarters of participants reporting preferences below the levels typically experienced at music venues. These findings have important consequences for how we approach hearing health in entertainment venues. Rather than motivating patrons to change their behavior, encouraging venues to meet their patrons’ needs and lower their sound levels to meet patron preferences may be a more successful strategy.