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Whining Is The Most Annoying Sound Ever – Scientific Proof

(flickr, Knitting Zeal)

As someone who doesn’t have kids, I don’t really need a study to tell me that whining is, without question, the most annoying sound on the planet. However, there is one: Research just published in the Journal of Social, Evolutionary, and Cultural Psychology confirms that no other sound can distract, irritate or otherwise unnerve like the universal tone people use to express their discontent (I attribute it mostly to kids, but I’ve met some pretty whiny adults, too).

In the study, a group of adults (who I really hope got paid to do this because it sounds terrible) were asked to perform simple math problems while listening to a variety of sounds ranging from silence to sobbing infants. Both male and female participants completed fewer problems and made more mistakes when distracted by the god-awful, nails-on-a-chalkboard-esque nagging sound of childish whining than any other noise they were exposed to. (It’s worth noting that Rebecca Black’s “Friday” was  absent from the lineup.)

The researchers were very careful to eliminate any sort of bias. For instance, the annoying verbal sounds were recorded in Hindi and Portuguese, so that the test was all about the sound of the words — and not their meaning. They used parent as well as non-parent participants, to determine which group would be bothered more by the cries, baby talk and whines in particular. Turns out it doesn’t matter if you’re a parent or not, people get equally annoyed.

So there you have it, something that I have said for years has now been confirmed by scientists! And scientists know everything!

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