IL Word2013 UD P1a ShaeMcGhee 1

Topics: Retailing, Sound, Psychology Pages: 3 (362 words) Published: December 3, 2014
Music and the Social Sound Byte
How music affects behavior

Retailers, health care professionals, and educational institutions rely on atmospherics to impact a desired result. Typically, atmospherics are used to influence a purchase or to improve health or study. Atmospherics may include visuals, (color, brightness, sizes, and shapes), sound, and tactile inputs.

Retail stores often invest in atmospherics to create an environment conducive to buying. For schools, the driver to use atmospherics may be cost rather than proven environmental benefits.

Music literally lights up different parts of the brain. Combine that in a retail, healing, or educational setting, and there is an opportunity to modify behavior.

Listening to music has been shown to reduce chronic pain, migraines, the need for medication during child birth, and speed the recovery in stroke and brain-injured patients.

Performing music—that is, the act of playing an instrument—does increase language skills and memory. Research indicates that listening to music can also help language skills, but the primary benefit value in listening is recalling memories.

What does this mean for the new student lounge? If students can associate music with a study topic, then they may also be able to remember it better. It is worth emphasizing that students must hear the song to recall the thoughts, which could prove problematic.

As the following table demonstrates, students choose to listen to music in a variety of settings.

While Cooking
56%
At Work
36%
To Fall Asleep
32%
While Studying
29%

Prior asumptions about music hinged on the power of classical music to improve cognitive test results. In reality, the only direct link that has been found between classical music and behavior is linked to shopping.

For example, studies have shown that shoppers tend to buy more expensive items when classical music is playing in the background.

For retailers, time is often the most...
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