Nirari M. Oda

Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Industrial and Entrepreneurial Engineering and Engineering Management


Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Tycho K. Fredericks

Second Advisor

Dr. Steven E. Butt

Third Advisor

Dr. Jorge Rodriguez

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The objective of this thesis was to study the effect of vocal duration period and background noise on psychophysical oral reading speed. Ten healthy white males (21-28 years old) were used as subjects. Experiment one was designed to determine Maximum Acceptable Oral Reading Speed (MAORS) for an 8-hour period using psychophysical methodology. Results indicate that 114 words/min was an acceptable oral reading rate for an 8-hour day. Furthermore, 2 hours and 20 minutes is an acceptable testing period ( equivalent to the 8-hour day). Acoustical and physiological variables support these findings. Experiment two was designed to study the effect of background noise (40 dB and 65 dB levels) on MAORS. Experiment two indicates that background noise had a significant effect on MAORS, physiological, and acoustical variables. MAORS decreased significantly from 118 words/min to 99 words/min as background noise level increased from 40 dB to 65 dB. Regression models were created to aid in predicting MAORS. These results will prove not only to be useful for voice recognition software customers but also software designers for ergonomically sound voice recognition software.