The Effects Of Music On Memory

1485 Words 6 Pages
Music plays an important role in people’s daily life. Previous studies suggest that music positively affects people’s cognitive performance especially working memory. Many college students read, do homework or prepare for exams while listening to music. Background music is an important environmental factor in our learning context that may have impact on our attention span and later recall of information. However, whether background music serves as a distractor or enhancer on memory remain an open question. Some studies suggest that long-term music training positively related to improvements in working memory. For example, George and Coch conducted a study using event-related potentials (ERPs) and a standardized test of working memory …show more content…
Furnham and Bradley (1997) conducted a memory test with immediate and delayed recall and a reading comprehension test for two groups of students. The tests were completed while listening to pop music or in silence. They found that when pop music was played, there was a negative effect on immediate recall on the memory test. Their findings demonstrate that background pop music is a distraction and reduces cognitive ability. However, other studies suggest that the type of music is an important factor. For example, Salamé and Baddeley (1989) found that instrumental music did not affect cognitive ability. Participants were presented of a sequence of nine digits under silent, vocal music and instrumental music. Then they were asked to perform an immediate serial recall of the nine digits. They presented a sequence of nine digits to participants with two seconds warning time and asked them to immediately recall the sequences of nine digits in thirteen seconds. They discovered that vocal music had significantly more detrimental effects on the performance compared to instrumental music. However, the performance under instrumental music was not significantly worse than silent control condition. Thus, vocal music was the most detrimental to task performance, whereas the instrumental or classical …show more content…
Then, we sent the link of the Youtube instrumental music video to thirty participants through email. After every participants received the email and successfully log in to the computer, we randomly distributed the free word list and the blank sheet of paper numbered as either 1 or 2 to the participants. Additionally, we included a informed consent paragraph and instructions at the beginning of the free word list. ( See Appendix A) Next, we asked the participants open the video on Youtube and put on the headphone. As soon as we said start, every participant started memorizing the words while listening to the music for five minutes. After five minutes of memorizing, we collected the free word list and gave participants a one-minute break. Next, we instructed the participants to start recalling the words for five minutes. Students in group 1 ( those who got paper with number 1 on it) wrote down as many words as they could recall under silent condition. Students in group 2 ( those who got paper with number 2 on it) wrote down as many words as they could recall while listening to the same instrumental music. After five minutes, we collected the paper and scored each participants based on the words they successfully recalled. The maximum score is twenty with all twenty words recalled. Then, the researcher debriefed the participant by handing him or her a paragraph

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