This is officially the worst sound in the world.

Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine. But Muuuuuummmmm.

A new study has revealed that a child’s whining is one of the most annoying and distracting sounds you’ll ever hear. It’s even more annoying than adults speaking in exaggerated baby talk. Don’t have kids? Well even you are not immune to it, whining has the power to divert your attention away from simple tasks, regardless if you are a parent or not.

According to the study’s co-author, Rosemarie Sokol Chang, “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.”

The researchers asked people to complete maths problems while listening to an infant crying, regular speech, silence, whining, a high-pitched table saw and “motherese” (exaggerated baby talk). People made far more mistakes when listening to the whining than any other sound.

While I don’t have children (just, yet) my favourite sound is, possibly an indication of my future alcoholism, the splash red wine makes being poured into an empty glass. My least favourite sound is probably a baby crying on a aeroplane, it’s a sound that crappy free headphones can never drown out.

What is your favourite and least favourite sound?

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