Journal of Undergraduate Psychological Research 2008, Vol. 3
The Effects of Different Types of Music on Cognitive Abilities
Laurel Harmon, Kristen Troester Taryn Pickwick, Giovanna Pelosi Western Connecticut State University
A variety of research has been conducted on the effects of different types of music on cognitive abilities. Many of these studies are based upon the Mozart Effect, which claims that listening to classical music has an advantage over other types of music on learning. This study consists of two experiments which tested 54 college students ages 18-50. In Experiment 1, we hypothesized that participants exposed to Mozart would score significantly higher on a listening comprehension test than those exposed to rock music or silence. In Experiment 2, we hypothesized that listening to rock music would result in lower reading comprehension test scores than classical music or non-music groups. An ANOVA test indicated that the results for both experiments were non-significant.
The relationship between music and learning has been an area of interest for researchers for many years. Some studies have shown that music can enhance cognitive abilities (Hall, 1952), and others have shown that it can interfere with complex cognitive processes but not simple processes (Fogelson, 1973). In 2004, researchers conducted a study that presented the effect of Mozart’s music on learning. The effect demonstrated that there may be an important relationship between certain types of music (e.g. classical) and learning (Jackson & Tluaka, 2004). One study involving college students showed a correlation between how awake they felt and their preference for music or silence. Results indicated a positive effect while listening to Mozart (Jones, West, & Estell, 2006). This effect has become known as the Mozart Effect, which proposes that listening to Mozart can increase spatial…...