Do you listen to music whilst studying or do your prefer peace and quiet? There’s lots of evidence out there to suggest that listening to music can in fact help you perform cognitive tasks.
So sit back, pop in your headphones if you feel the need and find out how music could affect your studies in a positive way…
Music can improve productivity on repetitive tasks – Upbeat music has been found to improve efficiency and accuracy in assembly lines and quality control operations. Apparently, this works best if the music is played in intervals when attention is likely to dip, as the music makes you more alert and makes the task seem less boring.
Tip: Dreading a boring task? Pop on some music and you’ll fly through your work!
Music can provide you with much needed motivation before completing cognitive tasks – Up tempo music can boost your mood and become motivational. In fact, a Canadian study of undergraduates found that they performed better on an IQ test after listening to up tempo music by Mozart, compared to a slower piece by Albinoni.
Tip: If you’re having trouble deciding what to listen to; Mozart is the answer.
Relaxing and repetitive background music can enhance performance on cognitive tasks – A number of studies have found that background music does not seem to distract the listener when trying to process information but in fact, it can aid relaxation and reduce stress.
Cockerton, Moore and Norman (1997) looked at the effects of koan music (a combination of free flowing, harmonious sounds, often used for meditation) on students completing a series of intelligence tests.
They found that the background music didn’t seem to interfere with the processing of information and aided relaxation.
Tip: If you’re feeling a little tense, pop on the DAB radio.
Memory tasks can be positively affected by music – A study by Jӓncke (2008) found that emotions can enhance memory skills, meaning music can create strong emotions. Therefore, choosing the correct type of background music could enhance your memory skills.
Tip: If completing a memory test, pop on some background music to boost your brain.