Parents Hear 'Worst Sound in the World' Every Day

If you think the worst sound in the world is when one of your kids starts whining, then you're actually scientifically correct. It turns out that whining is, indeed, the worst sound in the world to human ears. We can't get anything done when someone is whining.

But no one had to tell this to us parents.

"Moooooommmmmmyyyy ..." my almost 3-year-old will cry. His older sister knows better than to try to whine to get my attention, but he still hasn't learned. And much as I love the kid, lord do I have to control myself in those moments. When my kids whine, I can't focus, I can't think. All I can do is sit there wanting that horrible noise to stop.

It turns out, I am not alone. The noise actually is the most annoying noise in the world, according to a new study.


How does one gauge the most annoying noise in the world? They gave math problems to people and then had them listen to several annoying noises, including baby crying, silence, whining, normal talk, a droning table saw, and the kind of baby talk moms make to their kids. Whining won, hands down.

Study co-author Rosemarie Sokol Chang, a professor of psychology at SUNY New Paltz, said:

You’re basically doing less work and doing it worse when you’re listening to the whines. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, everybody’s equally distracted.

No one had to tell me this, but it's still vindicating to know. Now we just have to work on stopping it in my house.

Do you find whining this annoying?


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