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Abstract

Semi-structured individual in-depth interviews were conducted to explore and compare which social norms with regard to the debt-incurring process are important to Poles with various experiences of indebtedness. Thematic analysis within a constructionist framework identified the social norms important in the borrowing process for Poles and revealed, as expected, a number of differences between people with various indebtedness experiences. Model borrowers have a significantly different approach to debt than unreliable debtors and non-borrowers. Model borrowers seem to be oblivious to the negative sides of loans as well as indicate fewer reasons for justifying not repaying obligations than others. For unreliable debtors, loans are a quick way to solve financial problems. They borrow money out of necessity rather than to finance any larger, long-term investments and have their own private rules for borrowing. Non-borrowers, although aware of borrowers’ higher standard of living, emphasize that debt is associated with permanent stress and psychological burden. Model borrowers, unlike the others, declare that in their immediate vicinity are only those who use and pay their loans in a timely manner.
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Abstract

The paper presents the characteristics of the attitude that students have towards electric cars and the significance of distinguished attitude elements in creating interest in the purchase of such vehicles. Electric cars are the new type of vehicles that have an electric motor and use the electricity stored in batteries. They are introduced to the market, but for various reasons the volume of sales is not high. So far, it is not sufficiently known how electric vehicles are assessed by Poles. The presented research is an attempt to know what the attitude towards this type of vehicle. The attitude model tested in this research includes three areas: knowledge about them, emotions that they evoke and potential behaviors. The participants were students of Rzeszów University of Technology – a group of young people who are potential consumers of new technologies. The obtained results indicate that electric cars are rather unknown. At the same time, they arouse great interest and their image is very positive. The attitude characteristics towards this type of vehicle is supplemented by perceived limitations: too high of a purchase price, lack of sufficient information about them and unsatisfactory technical parameters, mainly the long time needed to recharge the battery and the insufficiently long distance with one recharge. The interest in the purchase is dependent on positive emotions, and the lack of sufficient information is an obstacle in thinking about buying such a vehicle. Understanding the attitudes of Polish students towards electric cars can be helpful in adapting information about such cars to potential customers, which in turn may affect the level of interest and sales volume.
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Abstract

The paper investigates the interdependence between the perceptual identification of the vocalic quality of six isolated Polish vowels traditionally defined by the spectral envelope and the fundamental frequency F0. The stimuli used in the listening experiments were natural female and male voices, which were modified by changing the F0 values in the ±1 octave range. The results were then compared with the outcome of the experiments on fully synthetic voices. Despite the differences in the generation of the investigated stimuli and their technical quality, consistent results were obtained. They confirmed the findings that in the perceptual identification of vowels of key importance is not only the position of the formants on the F1 × F2 plane but also their relationship to F0, the connection between the formants and the harmonics and other factors. The paper presents, in quantitative terms, all possible kinds of perceptual shifts of Polish vowels from one phonetic category to another in the function of voice pitch. An additional perceptual experiment was also conducted to check a broader range of F0 changes and their impact on the identification of vowels in CVC (consonant, vowel, consonant) structures. A mismatch between the formants and the glottal tone value can lead to a change in phonetic category.
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Abstract

Psychoacoustics is traditionally based on a world model that assumes a physical world existing independently of any observer - the so-called objective world. Being exposed to this world, an observer is impinged upon by a variety of stimuli reaching his/her sensory organs. These stimuli, if physiologically adequate, may cause biological transduction and signal processing in the sensory organs and its afferent pathways in such a way that finally a specific excitation of the cortex takes place, which results in sen-sations to appear in the observer’s perceptual world. The sensations are understood as being subjective, since they require an observer to exist. This world model - also known as (objectivistic) realism - reaches its limits when it comes to explaining more complex phenomena of perception. Thereupon, in this paper, an alternative world model is emphasized and applied to psychoacoustics, namely the perceptionist’s model. Like realism, perceptionism has a long tradition in epistemology. It appears to be suitable to improve our understanding of perceptual organization.
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Abstract

Principal components analysis (PCA) is frequently used for modelling the magnitude of the head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). Assuming that the HRTFs are minimum phase systems, the phase is obtained from the Hilbert transform of the log-magnitude. In recent years, the PCA applied to HRTFs is also used to model individual HRTFs relating the PCA weights with anthropometric measurements of the head, torso and pinnae. The HRTF log-magnitude is the most used format of input data to the PCA, but it has been shown that if the input data is HRTF linear magnitude, the cumulative variance converges faster, and the mean square error (MSE) is smaller. This study demonstrates that PCA applied directly on HRTF complex values is even better than the two formats mentioned above, that is, the MSE is the smallest and the cumulative variance converges faster after the 8th principal component. Different objective experiments around all the median plane put in evidence the differences which, although small, seem to be perceptually detectable. To elucidate this point, psychoacoustic discrimination tests are done between measured and reconstructed HRTFs from the three types of input data mentioned, in the median plane between -45°. and +9°.
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Abstract

The study objective was to understand the character and location of social conflicts in Poland’s soundscape. The analyses were based on a review of press and Internet articles from the years 2008-2015 and reports on noise, preceded by a review of the legal framework of protection against noise in Poland. Questionnaire surveys concerning Poland’s national parks and health resorts and the city of Lublin were an additional source of information. In the case of the former, the surveys were supplemented with a general examination of the acoustic determinants of social conflicts in the Podzamcze district. An analysis shows that sound in landscape has been a source of more than 100 social conflicts which were most frequently related to unpleasant sounds (noise nuisance) and the right to peace and quiet. The public demands acoustic comfort, one of the determinants of the quality of life. Therefore, it is necessary to know the public opinion on soundscapes (survey of sound preferences). Public consultations concerning the assessment of acoustic disturbance and sound preferences will make it possible to avoid social conflicts arising from insufficient knowledge. A major role is also played by the education of the public and decision-makers through sound awareness campaigns, e.g. as p art of ecology education. The subjective assessment of noise nuisance severity and the acoustic design of public spaces should be an integral part of environmental noise control programmes and revitalisation programmes. The conducted studies demonstrated that understanding the character and location of social conflicts in soundscape is a major scientific problem. Its resolution requires combining sociological studies (questionnaire for the valuation of the subjective feelings of respondents) with field analyses (observations, acoustic measurements). It is a promising research field that has been developed to a limited extent so far.
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Abstract

Simultaneous perception of audio and visual stimuli often causes concealment or misrepresentation of information actually contained in these stimuli. Such effects are called the "image proximity effect" or the "ventriloquism effect" in the literature. Until recently, most research carried out to understand their nature was based on subjective assessments. The authors of this paper propose a methodology based on both subjective and objectively retrieved data. In this methodology, objective data reflect the screen areas that attract most attention. The data were collected and processed by an eye-gaze tracking system. To support the proposed methodology, two series of experiments were conducted - one with a commercial eye-gaze tracking system Tobii T60, and another with the Cyber-Eye system developed at the Multimedia Systems Department of the Gdańsk University of Technology. In most cases, the visual-auditory stimuli were presented using a 3D video. It was found that the eye-gaze tracking system did objectivize the results of experiments. Moreover, the tests revealed a strong correlation between the localization of a visual stimulus on which a participant's gaze focused and the value of the "image proximity effect". It was also proved that gaze tracking may be useful in experiments which aim at evaluation of the proximity effect when presented visual stimuli are stereoscopic.
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Abstract

The head-related transfer function (HRTF) is dependent on the position of the sound source (both direction and distance) and is also affected by individual anatomical parameters. Individualized HRTFs have been shown to affect the perception of sound direction, but have not been considered in distance perception. This work aims to discover, by means of psychoacoustic experiments for a virtual reproduction system through a pair of in-ear headphones, the effect of individualized HRTF on auditory distance perception for a nearby sound source. The individualized HRTFs of six subjects and the non-individualized HRTFs of a mannequin at seven distances between 0.2 and 1.0 m and five lateral azimuths between 45X and 135X in the horizontal plane were processed with white noise to generate binaural signals. Further, the individualized and non-individualized HRTFs were used in the auditory distance perception experiments. Results of distance perception show that the variance of distance perception results among subjects is significant, the reason could be the stimuli are lack of dynamic cue and early reflections, or the auditory difference of distance perception among subjects. However, via the analyses of mean slope of perceptual distance and correlation between the perceptual and real distance, we find that the individualized HRTF cue has insignificant influence on distance perception.
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Abstract

Quality evaluation is very important for haptic rendering. In this paper, an objective evaluation method for a haptic rendering system based on haptic perception features is proposed. In the method, the haptic rendering process is compared to the real world perception process in a simple standardized procedure based on feature extraction and data analysis. A complete evaluation process for a simple haptic rendering task of pressing a virtual spring is presented as an example to explain the method in detail. Compared with the traditional objective method based on error statistics, the method is more concerned about the consistency of human subjective feelings rather than physical parameters, which makes the evaluation process more consistent with the haptic perception mechanism. The results of comparative analysis show that the method presented in this paper is simple, gives reliable results reflecting the consistency with subjective feeling and has a better discrimination ability for different kinds of devices and algorithms compared with the traditional evaluation methods.
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Abstract

Becoming more and more a multidisciplinary domain of study, the development of research in second language acquisition, and even more visibly in multilingualism, has moved away from its sole focus on cognitive aspects to social-affective dimensions. Consequently, research in these areas makes more extensive use of research methodology characteristic of social sciences. The focus on identity brings together issues of social context and the construction of one’s identity through negotiation of who we are, how we relate to the outside world and how we position ourselves in relation to others (Pavlenko 2001). Language is the main tool in this construction/ negotiation through the acquisition/learning and use of multiple languages. In relation to the development of one’s multilingual identity, the major distinction has to be made between acquiring a language in its natural context (the case of one’s mother tongue or immigration) and learning it in formal contexts. Block (2014) believes that the issue of identity can only be studied in a natural environment of language acquisition, and not in a formal instruction context. This article aims to confi rm or reject the above belief, based on evidence from various studies of bi- and multiple language users and how they perceive their identities and their relation to the languages in their possession. It includes a pilot study of trilingual language learners and their understanding of how the individual languages they know (L1, L2, L3) build their identities and the way they enrich, impoverish or challenge who they see themselves to have been by birth (Gabryś-Barker 2018). The issues discussed relate to external (other people, situations, contexts) and internal identity-building factors (individual affectivity, personality features).
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Abstract

The paper presents the results of partially categorized interviews conducted among the inhabitants of the nine lakeside villages located in the Łęczyńsko-Włodawskie lakeland. The aim of the study was to show how the inhabitants of rural areas featuring high natural values perceive the environment of their own village and what are their landscape preferences. The article presents the landscape elements which, according to the respondents, are the most and the least attractive in terms of aesthetics values as well as are considered to be characteristic or distinctive for a given village. Besides, a set of characteristics features and factors determining the landscape values of the analysed areas were presented. The results showed that the inhabitants attach little importance to the aesthetics values of their dwelling-place. It was also shown that lakes are considered, by the majority of the respondents, as landscape elements of the minor significance. The most important feature deciding on the villages aesthetic qualities occurred to be the law and order referring to the spatial, technical and visual aspects of buildings and sites resulted from the fact that an owner is taking care of a given place. Recently renovated or new sites and objects obtained the highest rate.
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Abstract

Eye tracking constitutes a valuable tool for the examination of human visual behavior since it provides objective measurements related to the performed visual strategies during the observation of any type of visual stimuli. Over the last decade, eye movement analysis contributed substantially to the better understanding of how visual attention processes work in different types of maps. Considering the clear need for the examination of map user reaction during the observation of realistic cartographic products (i.e. static maps, animated maps, interactive and multimedia maps), a critical amount of experimental studies were performed in order to study different aspects related to map reading process by the cartographic community. The foundation of these studies is based on theories and models that have been developed in similar research domains (i.e. psychology, neuroscience etc.), while the research outcomes that produced over these years can be used directly for the design of more effective and efficient maps. The aim of the present article is to summarize and present the current panorama of the existing eye tracking studies in cartographic research appeared over the last decade. Additionally, methodological contributions (including analysis tools) of cartographic society in the field of eye movement analysis are reported, while existing challenges and future perspectives are also discussed.
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Abstract

The present study was carried out to determine whether recorded musical tones played at various pitches on a clarinet, a flute, an oboe, and a trumpet are perceived as being equal in loudness when presented to listeners at the same A-weighted level. This psychophysical investigation showed systematic effects of both instrument type and pitch that could be related to spectral properties of the sounds under consideration. Level adjustments that were needed to equalize loudness well exceeded typical values of JNDs for signal level, thus confirming the insufficiency of A-weighting as a loudness predictor for musical sounds. Consequently, the use of elaborate computational prediction is stressed, in view of the necessity for thorough investigation of factors affecting the perception of loudness of musical sounds.
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Abstract

This study investigates the possible errors related to Mandarin tone perception and production by German speakers. In a preliminary test, 23 German listeners should identify the tones of 186 monosyllables. Results show that exposure to Mandarin Chinese can help to discriminate lexical tones as highly expected. In the main experiment, 17 German subjects were asked to take part in a perception and production test. Stimulus of perception involves 48 monosyllables uttered by a standard professional Chinese speaker; acoustic measures were conducted to analyze the production of 72 monosyllables for each subject. It is found that German speakers have much smaller f0 range than Chinese native speakers. Findings can provide implications for cross language studies and teaching practices.
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Abstract

This work addresses the problem of difficulties in classical interpretation of combination tones as non- linear distortions. One of the basic problems of such an interpretation is to point out the sources of these distortions. Besides, these kinds of distortions have numerous “anomalies” which are difficult to explain on the grounds of physics or physiology. The aim of the model presented in this paper is to show that combination tones phenomenon can be explained as an effect of central mechanisms. Most of existing theories of pitch perception focus mainly on virtual pitch perception and do not take into account combination tones as an element of the same mechanism. The proposed model of central auditory processing for pitch perception allows one to interpret in a coherent way both virtual pitches and combination tones phenomena. This model is of a demonstrative nature and gives an introduction to more advanced model. It belongs to the class of spectral models and it will be shown that such a model can be in a simple way extended to spectral - time model which is partially consistent with autocorrelation models.
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Abstract

The paper presents results of research on an influence of listening fatigue on the detection of changes in spectrum and envelope of musical samples. The experiment was carried out under conditions which normally exist in a studio or on the stage when sound material is recorded and/or mixed. The equivalent level of presented sound samples is usually 90 dB and this is an average value of sound level existing in control room at various recording activities. Such musical material may be treated as a noise so Temporary Threshold Shift phenomenon may occur after several sessions and this may lead to a listening fatigue effect. Fourteen subjects participated in the first part of the experiment and all of them have the normal hearing thresholds. The stimuli contained the musical material with introduced changes in sound spectrum up to ±6 dB in low (100 Hz), middle (1 kHz) and high frequency (10 kHz) octave bands. In the second part of research five subjects listened to musical samples with introduced envelope changes up to ±6 dB in interval of 1 s. The time of loud music exposure was 60, 90 and 120 minutes and this material was completely different from the tested samples. It turned out that listening to the music with an Leq = 90 dB for 1 hour influences the hearing thresholds for middle frequency region (about 1-2 kHz) and this has been reflected in a perception of spectral changes. The perceived peaks/notches of 3 dB have the detection ability at 70% and the changes of low and high ranges of spectrum were perceived at the similar level. After the longer exposure, the thresholds shifted up to 4.5 dB for the all investigated stimuli. It has been also found that hearing fatigue after 1 hour of a listening influences the perception of envelope which gets worse of 2 dB in comparison to the fresh-ear listening. When time of listening to the loud music increases, the changes in envelopes which can be detected rise to the value of 6 dB after 90-minutes exposure and it does not increase with further prolongation of listening time.
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Abstract

Sound and vibrations are often perceived via the auditory and tactile senses simultaneously, e.g., in a car or train. During a rock concert, the body vibrates with the rhythm of the music. Even in a concert hall or a church, sound can excite vibrations in the ground or seats. These vibrations might not be perceived separately because they integrate with the other sensory modalities into one multi-modal perception. This paper discusses the relation between sound and vibration for frequencies up to 1 kHz in an opera house and a church. Therefore, the transfer function between sound pressure and acceleration was measured at different exemplary listening positions. A dodecahedron loudspeaker on the stage was used as a sound source. Accelerometers on the ground, seat and arm rest measured the resulting vibrations. It was found that vibrations were excited over a broad frequency range via airborne sound. The transfer function was measured using various sound pressure levels. Thereby, no dependence on level was found. The acceleration level at the seat corresponds approximately to the sound pressure level and is independent of the receiver position. Stronger differences were measured for vibrations on the ground.
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Abstract

The present study consisted of two experiments. The goal of the first experiment was to establish the just noticeable differences for the fundamental frequency of the vowel /u/ by using the 2AFC method. We obtained the threshold value for 27 cents. This value is larger than the motor reaction values which had been observed in previous experiments (e.g. 9 or 19 cents). The second experiment was intended to provide neurophysiological confirmation of the detection of shifts in a frequency, using event-related potentials (ERPs). We concentrated on the mismatch negativity (MMN) - the component elicited by the change in the pattern of stimuli. Its occurrence is correlated with the discrimination threshold. In our study, MMN was observed for changes greater than 27 cents - shifts of ±50 and 100 cents (effect size - Cohen’s d = 2.259). MMN did not appear for changes of ±10 and 20 cents. The results showed that the values for which motor responses can be observed are indeed lower than those for perceptual thresholds.
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Abstract

The goal of the studies undertaken in Polish national parks was to determine noise threats, examine the resources, assess the quality of soundscapes and identify the possibilities of their protection. The questionnaire method used in the studies made it possible to identify the awareness of noise threats and the value of soundscapes according to the park service staff. In addition, the semantic differential and description methods were used to learn how students assessed the soundscape quality of Polish national parks. Finally, avenues of further research on soundscape in environmentally valuable areas were indicated. The research findings indicate that each national park in Poland is characterised by diverse and unique soundscapes and is subject to the pressure of road traffic and tourism resulting in noise hazards. The conservation of the acoustic values of parks is necessary and possible.
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Abstract

When considering tax reporting, taxpayers have an individual attitude towards the risk of being caught evading taxes by the tax authorities. This attitude is interdependent with how this inherent risk is perceived. We propose to analyse this phenomenon through a risk perspective by adding a risk attitude and corresponding perceived probability of being caught evading. In this paper, we study the dynamics of tax evasion under risk perception and attitude, and the consequent propensity of imitators to evade or to comply. Under this proposal, we conduct our experiments through a multi-agent based simulation. Simulation results suggest first that the risk attitude, in conjunction with perceived risk and its consequences are the main reasons to guarantee a low level of tax evasion. Secondly, results also demonstrate a non-linear impact of tax rate, investment interest rate and fines which is especially interesting and non-intuitive.
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Abstract

The main goal of this research study is focused on creating a method for loudness scaling based on categorical perception. Its main features, such as: way of testing, calibration procedure for securing reliable results, employing natural test stimuli, etc., are described in the paper and assessed against a procedure that uses 1/2-octave bands of noise (LGOB) for the loudness growth estimation. The Mann-Whitney U-test is employed to check whether the proposed method is statistically equivalent to LGOB. It is shown that loudness functions obtained in both methods are similar in the statistical context. Moreover, the band-filtered musical instrument signals are experienced as more pleasant than the narrow-band noise stimuli and the proposed test is performed in a shorter time. The method proposed may be incorporated into fitting hearing strategies or used for checking individual loudness growth functions and adapting them to the comfort level settings while listening to music.
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Abstract

The purpose of this two-wave longitudinal study was to investigate cross-lagged relations between sexual attitudes, perception of love and sex, and young adults’ relationship status over a period of one year. The current study tested two hypotheses: the first hypothesis assuming that sexual attitudes, perception of love and sex can be predictive of relationship status after a one-year interval; and the second hypothesis assuming that relationship status at T1 can be predictive of sexual attitudes and perception of love and sex after a one-year interval. Results from 117 Polish young adults (94 females and 23 males) aged 20–33 (M = 21.42, SD = 1.79) indicated that the conviction that sex is no longer as much a part of the relationship as it used to be (i.e., Sex is Declining scale) measured in the first assessment was a significant predictor of relationship status after a one-year interval. Furthermore, sexual attitudes and perception of love and sex at T1 were found to be predictive of sexual attitudes and perception of love and sex at T2. In addition, gender at T1 was predictive of instrumentality at T2, while being female at T1 related to higher instrumentality at T2.
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Abstract

The aim of the article is an attempt to reconstruct a description of the image of Arab World on the basis of selected (yet representative) writings from the second half of the 18th century. In that period, due to the trending Enlightenment orientalism understood as a fascination with the Orient and references made to it in the culture, the Arab world appeared among Polish representatives of the Age of Reason. These trends were expressed in art, customs, literature and – in the form of various concepts and images – in social consciousness. These images differed between each other both in terms of content and form. Some of them aimed to depict the Arab world objectively and extensively, whereas the other, on the contrary, were merely delineations focused on particular elements of the Arab world, depicting only one or a few aspects. Some of them, such as the image of Arabia Felix or utopian reminiscences refer to the tradition and update it. Some of them were created for the time being. Nevertheless, each of them reflects the topics, problems and questions which concerned the minds in Enlightenment Poland. Moreover, relatively high correlation between European archetypes and the image of the Arab world which occurs in the writings of the Polish Enlightenment confirms that Poland belongs to the Old Continent cultural group, which was crucial for the promoters of Polish Enlightenment.
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Abstract

This paper proposes a speech enhancement method using the multi-scales and multi-thresholds of the auditory perception wavelet transform, which is suitable for a low SNR (signal to noise ratio) environment. This method achieves the goal of noise reduction according to the threshold processing of the human ear's auditory masking effect on the auditory perception wavelet transform parameters of a speech signal. At the same time, in order to prevent high frequency loss during the process of noise suppression, we first make a voicing decision based on the speech signals. Afterwards, we process the unvoiced sound segment and the voiced sound segment according to the different thresholds and different judgments. Lastly, we perform objective and subjective tests on the enhanced speech. The results show that, compared to other spectral subtractions, our method keeps the components of unvoiced sound intact, while it suppresses the residual noise and the background noise. Thus, the enhanced speech has better clarity and intelligibility.
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