White Paper – littlecow24

Working Hypothesis 1

Playing certain types of music while you are studying and doing homework will help you to become a more efficient worker and will increase your work ethic.

Working Hypothesis 2

Different types of music, as extreme as classical or pop, will stimulate brain activity in drastic ways to either increase or decrease work ethic. 

Five Academic Sources

Goltz, F., & Sadakata, M. (2021, September 20). Do you listen to music while studying? A  portrait of how people use music to optimize their cognitive performance. Acta Psychologica. Retrieved October 10, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0001691821001670?via%3Dihub

This study covers the effects of background music on performance of our daily tasks, and explores specific tasks such as reading, memory, writing, and more. Individuals that contain a higher working memory capacity are less likely to be negatively affected by background music when doing tasks. This is connected to the fact of personality influence, with extraversion allowing people to have pop music playing when they are reading and it will barely bother them. There have been other experiments that have helped prove this fact, while many other studies fail to show it.

It seems counterintuitive that listening to music involving lyrics would help you focus more, and that listening to highly repetitive music would help you read better. Individual preferences play a big role in how much background music would help you, as well as musical training, showing “non-preferred music impairs reading comprehension when compared to conditions with preferred music, noise, or silence.” In my personal experience, my preferred music, being pop, has helped me complete my homework, while when I try to do homework in silence I get distracted easily. It may be the opposite for another person, and according to this study, calm music is much more preferred over pop. 

 A., Ashmita Mohan & Elizabeth Thomas, & Additional informationNotes on contributorsAshmita MohanAshmita Mohan is a Counselling Psychologist working in a Non-profit Organisation called the Swasti Health Catalyst. (2019, November 29). Effect of background music and the cultural preference to music on adolescents’ task performance. Taylor & Francis. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02673843.2019.1689368?src=recsys

It is shown in this study that playing music in a classroom setting can be helpful for adolescents. While in your adolescence, your brain is still growing and changing, adapting to things it is taught. Music helps to create a more welcoming and friendly environment, making the class seem more fun than it might actually be. While helping students focus, music also helps with behavioral issues, making the space safe for the kids. Music creates a higher level of arousal and mood, which “results in more material being processed by the learner and consecutively enhances their performance.” 

Young people have shown they listen to music for 2.5 hours on an average day, which helps them through hard times and stressful situations. It’s proven that listening to music benefits the adolescent population very well, and “it helps them develop a sense of self, connection and belongingness, acts as a supportive system in troubling times, extinguishes loneliness, develops social skills and increases emotional sensitivity.” Music preference can also be determined by an individual’s cultural background, preferences leading to a higher concentration level.

Gianna Cassidy, R. A. R. M. D. (2007). The effect of background music and background noise on the task performance of introverts and extraverts – gianna cassidy, Raymond A.R. MacDonald, 2007. SAGE Journals. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0305735607076444

Many requirements of music play into how effective it can be, such as form, genre, tempo, complexity, etc. One study showed music with a “low information load” was shown to improve performance in reading comprehension, while “high information load” did the opposite. Another study said that they saw no difference in the performance involving different music. Genre is such a big factor in whether or not music will help you improve your focus. Introverts will experience a great arousal with music of lower intensity, while extraverts may not. Introverts are more likely to not perform well when there is any music at all, especially if it is pop music or lyrical music.

White, K. N. (2007). The effects of background music in the classroom on the productivity, motivation, and behavior of fourth grade students. DEDICATION. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://files.eric.ed.gov/fulltext/ED522618.pdf

Music has been shown to play “an important role in culture and is a strong influence on today’s youth,” so focusing on implementing music to promote student learning in classrooms is a big thing for the younger generations. Research shows using background music during teaching and independent learning has many benefits relating to productivity, motivation and behavior within students. Although music classes are not required for school, it is becoming much more widespread because of how well it affects students. Getting younger students to stay focused can be hard, but educators are slowly realizing that background music heavily influences students’ performances in a positive way.

It’s been proven that classical music playing in the background helps enhance a classroom’s climate, and can shift the mood completely. Some teachers take advantage of playing music to motivate kids when they are entering class. This helps them get ready for class, and gets them excited, rather than walking into a silent classroom. Music during individual study helps students as well, giving them steady background noise.

Bonnet, M. H., & Arand, D. L. (2001, February 27). The impact of music upon sleep tendency as measured by the multiple sleep latency test and maintenance of wakefulness test. Physiology & Behavior. Retrieved October 12, 2021, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S003193840000353X

There have been 2 studies showing that “loud, white noise helped to maintain performance during a 30-min vigilance task during sleep deprivation.” Music provides arousal through sound intensity and by providing an interest component, as it is used in a study for attending to wakefulness as well as using it to fall asleep. Subjects had no instructions for whether or not to use the music to stay awake or fall asleep, giving them freedom to choose what they liked. Sleep latencies were reduced by the same amount on the recovery day (after sleep deprivation) whether music was present or not. Music seemed to have increased arousal levels, but nothing showed that music could have a different impact on falling asleep or staying awake.

Topics for Smaller Papers 

Definition Argument

When people think of the word “music,” they think of the popular songs of today. The term “music” is when vocal and/or instrumental sounds come together to form something of harmony and expression. Music isn’t just pop or rap, but it dives deep into the classical era and even forms of white noise can be music. 

Cause/Effect Argument

Students need to learn how to stay focused and productive inside of class and most importantly outside of class. Background music has had many positive effects on a students productivity, motivation, and overall mood. When studying and doing homework, an individual’s preferred music genre will help them to focus and become more productive. Music has had such a strong influence on our society that having something familiar can be comforting for a student in stressful times, or can help them push through homework. 

Rebuttal Argument

Background music causes one’s brain to become overloaded, and causes students to become less productive when working. Having music with lyrics playing will inevitably force the student to fully listen to said music. Although this may be true for some individuals, it is proven that music does improve productivity, you just need to pick the right music for you. There are many genres to indulge in, and even white noise is something you can use. Focus can be difficult for many people in this generation, and having the slightest amount of background music can greatly improve it.

Current State of Research Paper

As I have been researching for my paper, I have been finding a lot of sources about background music and studying. I believe that I am heading in a good direction, and can use these resources to my advantage. I want to try and find more on sleep and background music, as those have been more sparse. I am starting to see the connections between music and productivity and I am hoping to dig even deeper into it. I am hopeful for my hypothesis, and I am excited to get into researching more on this topic.

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