This document provides specifications for socio-acoustic surveys and social surveys which include questions on noise effects (referred to hereafter as “social surveys”). It includes questions to be asked, response scales, key aspects of conducting the survey, and reporting the results.
It is recognized that specific requirements and protocols of some social studies may not permit the use of some or all of the present specifications. This document in no way lessens the merit, value or validity of such research studies.
The scope of this document is restricted to surveys conducted to obtain information about noise annoyance “at home”. Surveys conducted to obtain information about noise annoyance in other situations, such as recreational areas, work environments and inside vehicles, are not included.
This document concerns only the questions on noise annoyance used in a social survey and the most important additional specifications needed to accomplish a high level of comparability with other studies. Other elements which are required to provide high-quality social surveys, but which are not specific for social surveys on noise (such as sampling methods), can be found in textbooks (see References  and ).
Conformity with the recommendations of this document does not guarantee the collection of accurate, precise or reliable information about the prevalence of noise-induced annoyance and/or its relationship to noise exposure. Other aspects of study design, as well as uncertainties of estimation and measurement of noise exposure, can influence the interpretability of survey findings to a great extent.