Effects of Music on Studying

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Music Enhances Concentration Necessary for Studying
Nana Y. Jukwakyi Agovi
Cardinal Stritch University

Music Enhances Concentration Necessary for Studying
Music is known to be food to the soul. Many studies have investigated the effects of music on attention needed for studying. A great deal of studies conducted was to investigate the effects of music, most specifically the Mozart Piece, on the enhancement of intelligence. Music produce soothing effects on the mind, it increases focus when studying or produces a great deal of concentration required for a task. Music is utilized to block out external noise and create a background noise beneficial for the task. Negative effects of music are it could be distracting when studying and the words in music piece interfere with concentration: this is known as the dichotomous effect. Jones et al (2006) run a study that investigated the Mozart Effect in terms of Arousal, Preference, and Spatial Performance. They found out their results indicated a positive effect of listening to Mozart. Cˇrncˇec et al (2006) proposes that though background classroom music cannot be reliably shown to enhance children’s cognitive and academic performance, it nonetheless appears to be effective in focusing children and reducing arousal in special education settings. The hypothesis was that there would be an increased observable positive effect of music on studying. The rationale for this hypothesis is that some students prefer music to study whilst others do not. Research shows the Mozart effect to increase spatial ability hence does music enhance or deter with the attention needed for studying?

Participants comprised of eight people, which was one male and seven females. Participants’ ages ranged from 19 to 24 years and were Cardinal Stritch University students. Participants were treated in accordance with the ethical guidelines published by the American Psychological Association (2002). Materials and apparatus

Materials used in this study included two boom boxes, two pieces of music, a stop clock, measuring tape and materials used to test for attention: crossword puzzles from the Blue Ribbon Word-Finds. The music used was the Mozart piece and a Bob Dylan song. The Mozart piece was Allegro con spirito from the Sonata for Two Pianos, K.448 and the Dylan piece was Desolation Row from No Direction Home. The boom boxes aka cd players were not of the same kind. The boom box playing Mozart was Sony CDF-FS47 and the other playing the Dylan piece was Califone Model FG 00037. Word games such as crossword puzzles were used as a possible test for attention. Two crossword puzzles were handed out for each condition. Crosswords were obtained from the Blue Ribbon Word-Finds. Word puzzles were published in Tobias, A. (Ed.) (Dec., 2005). Blue Ribbon Word-Finds (pgs 42, 46, 84).

Three conditions were set up in three different rooms. The first condition was the Mozart piece, the second d condition the Dylan piece and the third was no music. The boom boxes were placed in front of the room such that distance of each boom box from the center-most participant was 5 m. three groups of three participants were randomly selected. Each group had 2 min listening to music before the trial began. Each trial (when puzzles were done) was 5 min. A counter balance effect was created in order to reduce any anomalies from extraneous variables and eradicate any errors such as the ceiling or floor effects in the study. The study was run such that each group heard music in a different order. The order was as follows:

Trial 1Trial2Trial 3
Group A (n = 3): MozartDylanno music
Group B (n = 3): Dylanno musicMozart
Group C (n = 3): no musicMozartDylan

Within the group, each person worked on a different puzzle while listening to the same music. This was to ensure that all variables in the study were the same...
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