A laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the behavioral consequences of adaptation to high-intensity aperiodic noise, under conditions where subjects believed or did not believe they had indirect control over termination of the noise. The findings showed that among a group of college males, the work of adapting to uncontrollable, in contrast to controllable noise resulted in heightened overall tension (tonic skin conductance) and impaired performance efficiency after termination of the noise. Several theoretical explanations of these results were discussed, including interruption-based helplessness. The relationship of the present experiment to previous noise research by the authors was also considered.
Glass, D. C., Reim, B., & Singer, J. E. (1971). Behavioral consequences of adaptation to controllable and uncontrollable noise. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 7(2), 244-257.