The Mosquito

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I had previously never heard of the "teen buzz" phenomenon. After reading more about it online, I used one of the principles of scientific thinking and checked its replicability. It just so happened that my family was having a celebration of February birthdays at my house this weekend so I decided to use all of my relatives as my subjects. I grouped my family into two groups. There were 11 subjects in the over 40 group and 13 subjects in the under 40 group. My hypothesis was that almost all of the over 40 subjects would not be able to hear the noise. After the presents where opened I told everyone about my hypothesis. I wanted to see if it was true that older people could not hear the "mosquito noise". I had everyone be quiet and started to play the noise and recorded my data.

Data: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/createagraph/default.aspx?ID=7758badaf1ad461487feac32ad593f30

Different Frequencies: http://www.freemosquitoringtones.org/hearing_test/

My hypothesis was correct, everyone in the over 40 group could not hear the noise except for my uncle Tim. He is just a special person that can hear the higher frequencies. This must be to the fact that he works outside all day so he doesn't have to listen to the humming of computers and such.

-Adam Hoffman

6 Comments

I thought your experiment was rather interesting. Using the sound of a mosquito was a good idea when testing the hearing ability of everyone. I as well had never heard about the "teen buzz" until now, even though I have experienced it. I have several memories where my Mom and I are in the car and I can hear her cell phone vibrating/ringing from inside her purse, and she didn't (or at least not right away) hear it. It feels good to be able to have such strong hearing, but also sad because it will slowly start to go...

I liked that you performed your own little experiment! I remember hearing about the "teen buzz" a few years back in high school and testing it on the members in my family, too. I've never heard it actually being used in a class, however. I also heard that some stores use this technique to prevent teenagers from loitering.

It is cool to perform your own experiment.I never knew anyone useing teenbuzz when I was in China. Frankly, I have not experienced hearing this kind of high frequency sound. I've heard that teenbuzz can usually be heard by teenagers younger than 20, so I may miss the chance forever.

I have not heard of the term teen buzz, but this makes sense. If our environment gives us constant stimuli, we will become desensitized to it. As I type, my computer is making noises! I would be curious to know how many people under 40 can hear it. We are exposed to more computers buzzing than previous generations at our age were.

I have not heard of the term teen buzz, but this makes sense. If our environment gives us constant stimuli, we will become desensitized to it. As I type, my computer is making noises! I would be curious to know how many people under 40 can hear it. We are exposed to more computers buzzing than previous generations at our age were.

haha it's funny that you performed this experiment because it always has interested me to the max when I hear high frequencies that are rather loud and annoying that my parents, for example, cannot hear. I think your hypothesis was spot on, as that is what I would have predicted. I wonder if there was a way to continue the experiment with decreasing the pitch of the sound in small increments to where the over 40 group began to hear it?

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This page contains a single entry by hoffm983 published on February 19, 2012 7:39 PM.

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