The study habits of college students vary over a large scale of physical and auditory environments. One can commonly see people sitting at cubicles at a quiet library studying before an exam, while others are found studying in a social environment with very distracting auditory sounds. What is the best environment for a person trying to memorize information for an up coming exam?
Memory is a fundamental aspect of human nature. The ability to retain and recall information has a large effect on the survival of a person. The use of memory is important, for a human relies on their memory to help make decisions in their quest for survival. Humans as a whole are continuously developing new ways to learning and retain information in their memory, however the development of distractions, such as computers, television, and modern music, has increased with the increase of knowledge. The effects of music have been speculated to positively affect the human brain. Research has suggested that listening to music increases cognitive function; increase brain mass, and higher mental performance. According to an article in the Encyclopedia of Educational Technology, students perform better on math tests when listening to classical music. The researchers also found that listening to soft rock, jazz or fast paced background music increases performance efficiency (encyclopedia of Educational Technology). If music can improve a personÕs ability to retain and recall information, then what genre/ type of music is best for the memory process?
Besides music affecting ones ability in the memory process, emotions play an important roll as well. Emotions can positively or negatively affect the brains ability to store and recall information. Research has shown in such instances that negative emotions will have a tendency to block information retention and recall flow. Therefore research says a positive environment is best for memory success. Music is known as a common source for creating and changing emotions at a fast pace. Some research even shows that music invokes emotion have been found to create more successful rate of retention and recall of information in oneÕs long-term memory (The learning web limited, 2004).
Our project involves the experimentation of individualÕs ability to retain images while listening to different types of music including classical, heavy metal, rap, rock, cultural, jazz and techno. Then we will evaluate if certain emotions correlate with the songs and how it relates to cognitive abilities.
We hypothesize that there will be a significant difference between the tests results of a person listening to music compared to silence and television noise. We further predict that classical music, jazz, and techno music will have a greater effect on memory compared to television noise, rap, and heavy metal music. Our second major hypotheses, is that emotion will have an affect on ones memory through music. We further predict that positive emotions such as joy, ecstasy, and pride will be found to have increased tests scores compared to negative emotions such as worry, humiliation, and anger.
Our study brings together many different disciplines such as psychology, biology, musicology, and statistics. The study of memory relies on cognitive psychology, while emotion derives from neuro-psychology and behavioral psychology. In studying memory, one needs biology to map out the brains and processes. Then studying the effects of music on the brain will use the discipline of musicology and neuro0biology. Once the data has been collected, statistics will be used to analyze the data and draw conclusions.
RELEVENCE OF RESEARCH QUESTION
Meyer, L. B. (2001). Music and Emotion: Distinctions and Uncertainties. In P. N. Juslin, and Sloboda, J. A. (Eds.), Music and Emotion (pp. 341-360). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
This source discusses the effects music has on the brain, and then relates it to emotional responses. It is very helpful because it explains the different aspects of sound: register (higher-lower), dynamic level (louder-softer), speed (faster-slower), continuity (gradual-abrupt). For example, in a song you may have varying degrees of all these parameters, however there will be a constant degree in which the parameters are expressed. This constant degree observed will then influence our emotion towards the song as a whole. The next section of the source discusses how natural and cultural circumstances influence emotional states. We deem certain songs or poetry not because of our knowledge of physiological responses or psychological constraints, but because of awareness of, and often empathy with, the feelings and behaviors that occur in particular socio-cultural contexts. The last useful section of the source was about how classification is directly related to emotion. Overall, this source was useful identifying how emotions and music correlate. This information can further be applied in music choice for the study, for we have to be aware that the different types of music are varied in their parameters.
Schubert, E. (2001). Continuous Measurement of Self-Report Emotional Response to Music. In P. N. Juslin, and Sloboda, J. A. (Eds.), Music and Emotion (pp. 393-414). New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
This source discusses how continuous response measures may be applied to measuring emotion while listening to music. The meaning of continuous in this context is not taken literally, for a subject can evaluate a musical piece and document their emotions without a break, so the more correct term is continual or multiple equispaced measurements. The process of continuous measurements is first by separating the musical piece into groups, and then the test subject will choose an emotion given to match with each category. After the data is tabulated, relative frequencies are found for each type emotion throughout the whole musical piece. The relative frequency gives an overview of the emotions that are evoked in the test subjects' population. The second half of the source focuses on the application of continuous measurements to four different research purposes: validation, comparative investigations, stimulus-response investigations, and system-dynamics investigations. This source overall is very informative on an emotional response measurement. It also gives a very complete self-report emotional response list that can be applied directly to our study.
Shaw, Ph.D., G. (2004). Keeping Mozart in mind. 2nd Ed. New York: Elsevier Academic Press.
This source was chosen for its description of past studies relating music and the brain. The Mozart Effect was a study in which researchers tested the effects of listening to the Mozart Sonata for Two Pianos, relaxing music, or silence for 10 minutes before taking a Standford-Binet Intelligence Test. From the Stanford-Binet test the researchers tested on PF&C (paper folding & cutting), pattern analysis, and matrices. The results of the study on college students showed that the listening to Mozart music before the test increased the scores compared to silence, and the relaxation music. However, The enhancement of spatial-temporal reasoning was found to only last for about 10-15 minutes. This source over is useful, for it shows that music does have an effect on brain function. Also, it provides methods in which to test college students with a higher mental capacity, which can be directly applied to our research.
Murrock, C. J. (2005). Music and Mood. In A. V. Clark (Eds.), Psychology of Moods (pp. 141-155). New York, NY: Nova Science Publishers.
This source was chosen for its content on music and moods. The first the source describes in depth the five elements of music: rhythm, melody, pitch, harmony, and interval. Rhythm is the pattern of movement and is the most fundamental, essential, structural, and organizational element of music. Rhythm can influence structures in the brain such as the limbic system (center for emotions, sensations, and feelings), through creating a trace. Melody is the ability to express mood, thoughts, ideas, and emotions in a nonverbal form of communication. There can be a broad spectrum of emotions from happy and calm to euphoric and tranquil. Pitch is the sound cause by vibrations. By increasing or decreasing vibrations, the pitch becomes higher or lower. The faster vibrations create a higher pitch is usually associated with cheerful and happy music, whereas slower vibrations create a lower pitch which is associated with dreariness, and depression. The fourth element harmony is how the pitches blend together to make one sound known as a musical chord. Depending on the intervals between the notes blending together moods can be created. A major chord is normally associated with cheerful music, while a minor chord (lowering of the middle note in a major chord) is considered a sad and depressive type of music. The last element is the interval, which is the distance between each note. In a melody, certain intervals can invoke certain emotions. An example is a larger upward interval jump followed by a slow descending series of notes is considered more up beat and happy. This can be heard in the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in the movie "Wizard of Oz". As a whole the five elements can drastically change a persons emotions. The most obvious element that changes music is melody, while rhythm is the most unconscious element to cause change.
Music causes psychological effects by engaging the right hemisphere of the brain, which is the intuitive, creative, and imaginative methods. These methods directly effect the limbic system. The author hypothesizes that when listening to music, the vibratory motion that moves through the auditory cortex goes directly to the limbic system. Through the limbic system, music has the ability to bring forth a broad range of emotional conditions. These different emotional conditions can also cause changes in the cardiovascular system, neuro-endocrine system, and the immune system.
Besides evoking emotion, music can act as a distracter and divert attention for stressful stimuli. A stress response stimulates the release of epinephrine and nor epinephrine, resulting in the increase in heart rate, respiratory rate, blood pressure, and anxiety levels. Music may act directly on the autonomic nervous system when the stress response is interrupted and anxiety levels are reduced. It is also through that listening to music releases endorphins, especially beta-endorphins, the bodyÕs natural pain relievers that have been associated with pleasant emotions and pain relief.
Overall this source is very helpful, for it gives information on how music effects emotion, and the rest of the human body. The source also gives a logical explanation on how music affects the brain by traveling from the auditory cortex to the limbic system.
Blood, A. J., Zatorre R. J., Bermudez P., and Evans, A. C. (1999). Emotional responses to pleasant and unpleasant music correlate with activity in par limbic brain regions. Nature Neuroscience, 2, 382-387.
Half of our testing hopes to recognize a link between music and emotional responses. It seems easy to see that music can in fact have a pretty direct correlation to emotional responses. But why is this? This article deals with the actual science of the brain and how it is affected by music. This article will help us to prove a connection between music and the emotions that are recorded by our testing participants.
Hall, P. D. (1998). The relationship between types of rap music and memory in African American children. Journal of Black Studies, 28(6), 802-814.
Heavy Metal and Rap music is usually categorized by a heavy usage of profanity and messages that promote hate and violence. This article hopes to explore possible links between these two genres of music and the affects that it has on African American children, both in terms of attitude and memory. It was found that children who listened to mostly these two forms of music were generally more accepting of violence and could show more signs of aggression. It was found that such music can indeed have negative impacts on the memory of children, which is intensified by those that actually listen and understand the lyrics/message being conveyed by the music. These results help us to hypothesize what will happen during our testing.
Hamann, S. B., Ely T. D., Grafton S. T., and Kilts, C. D. (1999). Amygdala activity related to enhanced memory for pleasant and aversive stimuli. Nature. 289-293.
This journal was chosen for its context pertaining to how emotions affect memory. The study presented was comparing the emotional responses and ability to recall four different types of pictures. The two experimental groups were pleasant pictures (sexually arousing scenes, appealing animals or appetizing foods), aversive pictures (mutilated and diseased bodies, frightened animals or lethal violence), while the two control groups were neutral pictures (chess players, plants and animals or household scenes), and interesting pictures (chrome rhinoceros, exotic parade). The control groups were designed to be non-emotional, however the interesting group was designed to attract interest and be memorable yet to be emotionally un-arousing. While the groups of pictures were being observed, the test subjects were being monitored by a PET machine to monitor amygdala activity. Then following the PET, the subjects were given 3 surprise memory tests at varying lengths of time after the exposure to the pictures. The study found that increased activity of the amygdala increased the recall of pictures in the memory tests. This study shows that emotions have an affect on memory. In application to our study, we can theories of memory and emotion being linked together.
Wallace, W. T. (1994). Memory for music: effect of melody on recall of text. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 20(6), 1471-1485.
This journal was chosen for its information on memory and music. This study gives ample amounts of information on how music can help memory. First, the melody will facilitate learning and recall of the text. Generally, memory structures use rhyme and meaning to link components of text together, and preserve the characteristics across recalls. When a subject recalls a melody, the subject then knows the length of the accompanying contextual line stored with the melody. The order and structure of information strengthens the connections within memory that give cues to guide textual searches. The sequential recall also limits the likelihood of skipping over portions of the material without being aware of the omissions. This also provides an access point from which one can puck up and recall again if a portion is omitted. The study overall gives a foundation on which music helps the storage and recall of text in memory.
Morris, W. (1989). Mood: the frame of mind. New York: Springer-Verlag.
This source was chosen for its information on different types of moods and how moods affect memory. Moods are either conscious or unconscious as a function of crossing a simple sensory threshold. The purpose of the mood was to inform the individual of his general state and needs. Moods could presumably be applied to other self-regulatory systems such as those involved in the control of eating and drinking behavior, for the cycle of moods and human needs keep the cycle moving. The most fundamental way in which mood might have its effects is by altering the mind. Mood can influence memory by creating ease and success with encoding material or retrieving material from memory. For example it seems reasonable to speculate that bad moods might interfere with the capacity to engage in any task, including remembering, especially when the task demands are relatively great. Overall, the source is useful for getting a foundation on moods and how it may affect memory.
Carlson, J., & Hatfield, E. (1992). Psychology of Emotion. New York: Harcourt Brace Javanovich College Publishers.
This source was chosen for a foundation on emotions. The useful section in this book is about structural postulates developed by Plutchik. Plutchik's ideas that the primary emotional dimensions can be conceptualized in terms of pairs of polar opposites and that emotions vary in similarity and intensity. Presumably, the emotional pairs feel like opposites, are associated with different physiological reactions, and lead to incompatible behaviors. Plutchick also categorizes emotions as positive and negative. The last categorization is that emotions differ in intensity such as people that are pensive, sad, or experiencing grief. Then by applying all of Plutchik's postulates he developed a Emotion solid in which emotions are bipolar, vary in similarity and intensity. The emotions are basically applied to a simple color wheel, which has three levels. Overall this source is useful for developing a good foundation. The emotion solid will be incorporated into the test of emotions in our study.
The Learning Web Limited, (n.d.). Music and learning: eight ways to use music for teaching and learning. Retrieved Mar. 09, 2006, from The Learning Revolution Web site: http://www.thelearningweb.net/music-learning.html.
This website was chosen for its content on different techniques to use for teaching in a classroom. The section most useful gives eight ways to use music as a teaching tool. The eight ways are (direct quote):?1. Music relaxes the mind and lowers stress levels that inhibit learning. When used effectively, it increases alpha levels in the brain, boosting memory and recall and allowing the brain to access reserve capacities. ?2. Music acts directly on the body, specifically on metabolism and heartbeat. Listening to certain types of music can trigger the release of endorphins, producing a tranquil state that leads to faster learning. ?3. Music stimulates and awakens, reviving board or sleepy learners and increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain. ?4. Music is mathematical. Certain musical structures stimulate specialized brain circuits, allowing learners to decode complex ideas more easily. ?5. Music inspires emotion, creating a clear passage to long-term memory. ?6. Music is a stage-changer and can be used effectively to get students into an effective learning state. ?7. Music is a universal language, uniquely capable of crossing cultural barriers and training in ethnic traditions and values. It can set a dramatic stage for lessons in history, foreign language, sociology, political studies and geography. ?8. Music is a powerful anchor that moors learning in memory...These eight steps are summarized from An introduction to The Music Revolution, by Dr. Jeannette Vos, co-author of the world's biggest-selling book in 1999,The Learning Revolution. That introduction is one of many interesting articles in the "Topics" section of this website. Overall this a very useful source. It gives examples on how music effects the body such as relaxing the mind.
Brewer, C. B. (1995). Music and learning: integrating music into the classroom. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2006, from Music and Learning: http://www.newhorizons.org/strategies/arts/brewer.htm
This website was chosen for its content on why music should be used in a classroom. It gives information on the positive results seen when using music in the classroom such as accelerated learning. It gives examples on how music can affect our body such as increase focus and concentration and improve attention, and many other elements. It further goes into discussion on implementing music into a learning curriculum by creating active learning experiences. Another use of music is for memorization through songs, chants, poems and raps. The content facts and details through rhyme, rhythm, and melody. Overall this source gives good information on pass research and implementations to benefit learners.
Encyclopedia of Educational Technology, (n.d.). Music and learning. Retrieved Feb. 17, 2006, from http://coe.sdsu.edu/eet/articles/musiclearning/index.htm.
This website was chosen for its content on music enhances the ability of information retention. One of the studies cited was about how music overall increases brainÕs temporal region, which is the auditory cortex that controls transferring sound and music. They also found that music helps to improve cognitive functioning, increase the size of the brain neurons, and assist person to achieve higher mental performance. Then the researchers address topics on task performance while listening to music. The different types of music have different effects on the brain, and also the individual chooses music based on their own emotions at a particular time. In another study cited, researchers found that students listening to classical music in the background score higher in math than students who were not listening to any music. However, the researchers also found that listening to soft rock, jazz or fast pace background music in the work place can enhance performance efficiency. The author further concludes that there is no proof whether background music is really the cause of better academic or work performance. This then ties into our study in trying to decipher is certain types of music affect memory (academics).
Vaidya, G. (n.d.). Retrieved Mar. 09, 2006, from Music, Emotion, and the Brain Web site: http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/neuro/neuro04/web2/gvaidya.html.
This source was chosen for its information tying together music, emotion and brain functions. The first topic addressed is problems with studying music and how it affects emotion. The emotions created by a piece of a music may be affect by memories from the past, the environment, the listenerÕs mood, personality, and culture. Under such circumstances, it is extremely difficult to deduce what intrinsic quality of the music, if any, created a specific emotional response in the listener. Even when such seemingly intrinsic qualities are found, they are often found to be at least partially culturally dependant. The source then discusses possible characteristics that might influence emotion form music. For example, major keys and rapid tempos cause happiness, whereas minor keys and slow tempos cause sadness, and rapid tempos together with dissonance cause fear. There is also a theory that dissonance sounds unpleasant to listeners across all cultures. Dissonance is to a certain degree culture-dependent, but also appears to be partly intrinsic to the music.
Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy, (2004). Memory. Retrieved Mar. 09, 2006, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/memory/.
This source was chosen for its content about the concept of memory. It is used as a foundation for understanding how memory works in order to apply musical concepts and emotional concepts in our research. This source describes the different types of memories from episodic memory to causal constructive remembering. A strong argument was that if memories are not fixed mental images or discrete items of any kind, permanently stored in the individual mind or brain, then the relatively unstable individual memory may need support from more stable external scaffolding or props. This argument can be applied to our research, that music can be a logical scaffolding of storing and recalling memories.
MATERIALS AND METHODS
Studying the effects of music on the human mind and how it can effect someoneÕs emotions and memory requires a complex testing of a large sample of people. Our experiment is made up of these two different parts; one in which memory is studied and another in which emotional responses are examined. We wanted to be able to sample as many people as possible and in order to receive sound results, we would need a large sample group of ideally 100 participants. Our test subjects have five different times to choose from in the hopes that more people will be able to participate.
Our first part of the test studied the effect that different sound patterns have on human memory. We used 28-second samples of music that can be categorized into the following genres: Classical, Rap, Heavy Metal, Alternative Rock, Cultural, Jazz, and Techno. In addition, in order to simulate varying study environments found for different students, we also added the auditory stimuli of television noise, and compared all of this with the results found from silence, the control. While the music is playing, a complicated pattern of nine dots will be flashed on the screen for 6 seconds, followed by 1 second of blank screen. This will be repeated 4 times to account for the twenty-eight seconds of music being played. Once this has been completed, each person in the study will be asked to recreate the pattern of dots, in order, on a form that is provided to them in a time of one minute. This same process is given for each of the different auditory sections.
The second round of testing studies the effect that different sound patterns have on human emotional responses. Study participants will be asked, and more able, to focus on the actual music for the same period of time of 28 seconds. They are then asked to gauge their emotional response to the song using the form provided. This form consists of a list of emotions of varying degrees of intensity based upon a study done by the psychologist Robert Plutchik. His study was done to try to encompass all of the varying emotions into one comprehensive list, which resulted in eight primary emotions divided into subcategories.
When looking at the results of these tests, it needs to be assured that the grading scale is fair and completely unbiased. This will be especially hard to accomplish for the memory portion of the test in which participants will be asked to recreate the dot patterns that they saw. We feel that the best way of performing this task is by having a three-point scale for each of the four drawings they will be asked to recreate for each of the separate auditory genres. One point will be awarded if it in no way resembles the correct response, two points if there is a semblance of similarity in which the general shape is recognizable, and three points if the drawings correspond significantly with the correct response in terms of both shape and number of dots. If no response was given, zero points were awarded for that image. Each of the songs has a twelve-point scale and we will use the scores to graphically represent how different genres of music have affected the memory scores.
In order to test emotional responses to certain music genres, participants will be asked to circle the corresponding emotion on the Plutchik-based form that is provided to them that best fits their emotional state after listening to the song selection.
In order to successfully complete this study, we are going to need a statistically sound number of participants. We advertised the study shortly after returning from Spring Break and held five different sessions in Leonard Theater. We used Photoshop to make the dot test and put these images into iMovie so we could add the various song clips and make sure the timing was correct. These studies were completed the night of April 12th, 2006 and evaluation of the results started immediately. Evaluation of the results consisted of a paired t-test of the memory results, with each of the genres being individually compared with that of silence, our control. The emotions results were evaluated statistically using a frequency chart in Microsoft Excel.
Through our collection of data, we tested our hypothesis that there will be a significant difference between the memory test results of a person listening to music compared to a personÕs test results who is in silence or listening to television noise. We further tested our second hypothesis that emotion from the auditory environment will have an effect on a personÕs capacity to memorize.
In testing for our major first hypotheses, we first compared all the music data verses silence and then verses television/ vocal noise. Then we compared the silence memory test data to each auditory environment created. The results are listed below.
Silence vs. Rock
H0: silence = rock
Ha: silence ? rock
Table : t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. rock
From these results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (-1.637) fell within the critical interval boundaries (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a silent environment and an environment with rock music produced the same results for the memory test.
Silence vs. Jazz
H0: silence = jazz
Ha: silence ? jazz
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. jazz
From these results the null hypothesis was rejected in favor of the alternative hypotheses, for the t-statistic (2.378) exceeded the critical interval boundaries (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore there was a significant difference in memory test scores between a silent environment and an environment with jazz music.
Silence vs. Hard Rock
H0: silence = hard rock
Ha: silence ? hard rock
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. hard rock
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (1.030) did not exceed the critical interval boundaries (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a silent environment and an environment with hard rock music produced the same results for the memory test.
Silence vs. Hip-hop
H0: silence = hip-hop
Ha: silence ? hip-hop
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. hip-hop
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (1.141) fell within the boundaries of the critical intervals (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a silent environment and an environment with hip-hop music produced the same results for the memory test.
Silence vs. Classical
H0: silence = classical
Ha: silence ? classical
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. classical
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistics (0.483) did not exceed the critical interval boundaries (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a silent environment and classical music environment produced the same results for the memory test.
Silence vs. Techno
H0: silence = techno
Ha: silence ? techno
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. techno
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (0.263) fell within the critical interval boundaries (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a silent environment and techno music environment produced the same results for the memory test.
Silence vs. Tribal
H0: silence = tribal
Ha: silence ? tribal
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for silence vs. tribal
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (1.542) did not exceed the critical interval boundaries (-2.069, 2.069). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a tribal music environment and a silent environment produced the same results for the memory test.
Television/ vocal noise vs. Rock
H0: television/vocal = rock
Ha: television/vocal < rock
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs rock
From the results the null hypothesis was rejected in favor of the alternative hypothesis, for the t-statistics (1.998) exceeded the critical interval boundaries (-1.714, 1.714). Therefore the alternative hypothesis was accepted, stating that a rock music environment had significantly higher memory test scores compared to an environment with television/vocal noise.
Television/ vocal noise vs. Jazz
H0: television/vocal = jazz
Ha: television/vocal < jazz
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs jazz
From the results the null hypothesis was rejected in favor of the alternative hypothesis, for the t-statistic (2.322) exceeded the critical interval boundaries (-1.714, 1.714). Therefore the alternative hypothesis was accepted, stating that a jazz music environment had a significantly higher memory test scores compared to a television/vocal noise environment.
Television/ vocal noise vs. Hard Rock
H0: television/vocal = hard rock
Ha: television/vocal < hard rock
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs hard rock
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (1.177) fell within the critical interval boundaries (-1.714, 1.714). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a television/vocal noise environment and hard rock music environment produced the same results on the memory test.
Television/ vocal noise vs. Hip-hop
H0: television/vocal = hip-hop
Ha: television/vocal < hip-hop
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs. hip-hop
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (1.427) did not exceed the critical interval boundaries (-1.174, 1.714). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a television/vocal noise environment and hip-hop music environment produced the same results on the memory test.
Television/ vocal noise vs. classical
H0: television/vocal = classical
Ha: television/vocal < classical
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs. classical
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (0.663) did not exceed the critical interval boundaries (-1.174, 1.174). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a television/vocal noise environment and classical music environment produced the same results on the memory test.
Television/ vocal noise vs. Techno
H0: television/vocal = techno
Ha: television/vocal < techno
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs. techno
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (0.628) fell within the critical interval boundaries (-1.714, 1.714). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a television/vocal noise environment and techno music environment produced the same results on the memory test.
Television/ vocal noise vs. Tribal
H0: television/vocal = tribal
Ha: television/vocal < tribal
Table: t-Test: Paired Two Sample for vocal noise vs. tribal
From the results the alternative hypothesis was not accepted, for the t-statistic (1.489) did not exceed the critical interval boundaries (-1.714, 1.714). Therefore the null hypothesis was favored, stating that a television/vocal noise environment and tribal music environment produced the same results on the memory test.
In addition to statistical tests, we compared the means of the test scores for each auditory stimulation. This resulted with jazz music having the highest average memory test scores, while television/vocal noise having the lowest memory test scores. (Refer to Figure 1)
Figure 1: Auditory Stimulus Mean Test Score Comparison
In testing for our second major hypothesis, we compared the frequency of positive and negative emotions with the test score means for each auditory environment. We then made inferences about the frequency of emotions selected and the results of the auditory environment tests.
This first figure shows the frequency of each emotion chosen during the testing session. There were 464 words chosen during by the test subjects, and of those 464 words 248 were positive emotions. While there were 144 negative emotion words chosen and 72 neutral emotion words. Positive emotion words included: ecstasy, joy, serenity, admiration, trust, acceptance, vigilance, anticipation, and interest. Negative emotion words include: terror, fear, apprehension, grief, sadness, pensiveness, loathing, disgust, boredom, rage, anger, and annoyance. The graph below (fig. 2) shows the trend of the higher frequency in positive emotions compared to negative emotions.
Figure 2: Frequency of Emotions Chosen
The second figure (fig. 3) shows the positive and negative distribution of the emotion words. It also shows the break down of emotion frequency for each auditory environment. The first column is the positive emotions while the second column is the negative emotions. The figure shows that classical received the highest frequency of positive emotions, while heavy rock received the lowest frequency of positive emotions. While silence and heavy rock tied for having the highest frequency of negative emotions, and classical and techno tied for the lowest frequency of negative emotions. In comparing the positive and negative emotion frequencies, silence, television/ vocal noise, and rock had a fairly similar frequencies in both groups.
Figure 3: Positive Emotions vs. Negative Emotions
From this data we can locate trends with the emotion frequencies and the mean memory test scores in the different auditory environments. The first major trend was that Jazz had the highest mean memory test score, and Jazz also has one of the highest frequency in positive emotion and fairly low frequency in negative emotion. Conversely, the television/vocal noise had the lowest mean memory test score, and had the lowest positive emotion frequency and highest negative emotion frequency. These inferences are not conclusive therefore the alternative hypothesis, that positive emotions with be associated with high memory test scores, can not be accepted.
In summation, the jazz environment was the only auditory environment proven to have a significantly greater effect on memory test scores compared to a silent environment. In comparison to a television/ vocal noise environment, both a jazz music environment and rock music environment were found to have significantly greater mean memory test scores. The testing of emotion in relation to the memory test scores for the different auditory environments was inconclusive, therefore the null hypothesis must be favored with the current data.
DISCUSSION & CONCLUSIONS
The goals of this research project were to find out the effects that music has on memory and emotions, and how these correlate. In simulating a studying atmosphere, we hypothesized that certain music genres such as Classical and Jazz, or Speaking and Hard Rock would have a significant effect (be it positive or negative, respectively) to remembering figures that could be recreated in a silent testing atmosphere. After evaluating the tests completed by our participants, we were able to reach a conclusion.
Based on the results, we concluded that our hypothesis that listening to music as compared to being surrounded in an environment of silence or television noise would display significant differences, proved to be less significant than expected. Overall, music did outperform both silence and television noise; however, there were few significant results. We found that only Jazz music significantly outperformed silence in the studying atmosphere, however both Jazz and Rock significantly outperformed television noise. Surprisingly enough, silence and television noise were the most distracting while simulating studying, even more than hard rock. Along these lines, we were also surprised to find that Classical underperformed hard rock, as we felt hard rock would be incredibly distracting from the studying task.
Our second prediction was that a positive emotional atmosphere would enhance the ability to memorize, whereas a negative emotional atmosphere would detract from the studying environment. Our hypothesis proved correct in that Jazz, our highest mean memory score, displayed one of the highest frequencies in positive emotion. Also, our assumption that the most-negative emotion will have the lowest memory test scores proved accurate with silence and television noise. However, the fact that Classical music scored the highest positive emotions and lowest negative emotions did not support the fact that it didnÕt perform well with the memory test.
While conducting the survey, there were obvious flaws with the system that needed to have been better controlled which could possibly have produced more significant results. There were very different atmospheres in the different testing sessions that could very much affect the results. The last group in particular was disruptive and talked through much of the test, which no doubt affected the results. When redoing this test, it would be important to make sure that all outside influences were kept to a minimum so as to simulate a more equal testing atmosphere in all sessions conducted of the test.
After the completion of this project, it was evident that improvements can be made. The first major improvement is to acquire a larger sample size and a more representative population of college students. Our sample consisted mainly of the western college program students, which may differ from students located in other disciplines on the Miami University campus. Another change would be to improve the memory testing techniques, such as dot consistency throughout the entire test. During the emotion test, time allotments could be reduced, since the test subjects completed the emotion survey in half the time given.
In the future, further research can be done on the interesting topic of music and emotionÕs effect on memory. One study could use a different type of memory test that requires memorizing words instead of visual pictures. Another study could look at the creating different emotions on purpose to further understand how emotion affects memory. Lastly, a study could be completed by testing emotion by a different means such as monitoring heart rate and or hormonal fluxes.
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