Carnegie Mellon's Homecoming event has, in past years, provided us with much useful data. Alumni willingly participate in experiments and we obtain a more general user population than by eliciting participation just from students and colleagues. Since Homecoming attracts many older alumni, especially those who are there for their 50th reunion (age of about 70), we felt it would be the perfect place to carry out our study.
We set up 2 telephones close to the registration area and found that many people volunteered for the experiment readily. Many had strong opinions on the problems that reduced hearing/understanding, above all other forms of perception, creates in their lives.
There were 67 subjects in all, with ages ranging from 24 to 87. We grouped them by ten years of age (20-29, 30-39, etc.) in our results. The age groups above 50 years old were more populated than the groups under that age.