24 Feb

Hush little baby, don’t you cry – Coping with the sound of a crying baby using a breathing relaxation technique

This article was written for a group assignment during my second year bachelor degree. The article was not peer reviewed or published in any scientific journal.

Authors: Fiona Baum, Ghislaine Boateng, Lorenzo Frangella, Louisa Glawe, Emmanuel Mülstroh, Edris Noori, and Eva van de Walle


The present study investigated whether a fast-learnable relaxation technique, namely Benson’s Relaxation Response (BRR), could reduce noise-induced annoyance. The experimental design was a two by two design. Thus, two groups were exposed to the sound stimulus, the record of a crying baby, and only one of these groups was taught the coping technique prior to exposure. The two “no sound” groups were not exposed to any sound and acted as control groups to test the effect of the coping technique on annoyance in the absence of sound. The results indicated the sound manipulation to be significant in provoking annoyance. In contrast, the relaxation technique did not significantly reduce annoyance. It was concluded that the BRR, in the way it was taught to the participants in the present study, did not reduce annoyance. Furthermore, results showed that the sound of a crying baby was highly annoying, which was in line with prior research.

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