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Does the Mozart Effect Really Help?

Mozart EffectListening to classic music can improve cognitive ability – the so-called “Mozart effect” – has been falsified by several researchers. There was a research claiming that music stimuli can indeed help improve test performance. However, you may want to have a glimpse on a new study before you make up your mind to buy an expensive set of classic albums. A study by Nicolas Sulicki from Fordham University, New York, pointed out that listening to Mozart’s piano sonata has little help on enhancing memory. The result was published on Academia.edu.

There are many studies focusing on music’s influence on learning, though, Nicolas Sulicki said that his research is the first one that directly evaluates the influence of background music on memorizing words. Thirteen students (2 males and 11 females) aging from 20 to 25 from Memory Lab, Fordham University, participated in this study. Among them, eight said they used to learn while listening to music while the rest usually study in quiet environment.

The participants were randomly separated into two groups: one reviewed 60-page PowerPoint slides with five-second interval and one word on each slide in musical environment and the other one did the same thing in quiet environment. The background music chosen was Mozart’s Piano Sonata No.3 in B Flat, an auditory stimulus that was previously found to be able to evoke and motivate thinking. After five minutes of reviewing the slides, the participants were asked to write down the words they had memorized as much as they can.

The result revealed that whether listening to music has no significant correlation with the amount of words being memorized.

The researchers noted that the results may suggest background music has a more than simple relationship with test performance. The experiment had many limitations and factors such as participants’ preferences towards music, their music experiences, etc. can also have an effect on the result.

This study has not been peer-reviewed.

*Image source: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/science/the-mozart-effect-171648.html