Undergraduate Psychology Research Methods Journal


The purpose of this study was to see how listening to different genres of music affects performance on puzzle solving, particularly word searches. Students completed puzzles of equal difficulty and under different genres of music and the absence of music. The three genres of music were instrumental and included classical, heavy metal, and pop music. There was also a round where no music was played. Students had four rounds to do four different word searches; each round consisted of a different word search topic and was given to each person in a different order. During each round, all participants listened to a genre of music or the silence condition. Students had 3 min each round to find as many words possible, for a total of 12 min. After the main experiment, students took a survey about how music affects their daily life and how they felt about the experiment, which took between 5-10 min. The results of this study were conducted using a one-way ANOVA to compare groups under the different order of music and silence presented, and how many words participants solved under each condition. I hypothesized that students would perform better under silence than with background music, and also that between the three genres of music, students would perform better with classical music than heavy metal or pop-- since classical is commonly thought to be used to boost intelligence, pop is used more for leisure, and heavy metal has strong percussion and emotional reactions.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

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