The Effects of Background Music Style on Mathematical Computation and Reading Comprehension

Main Article Content

An-Che Chen
Chen-Shun Wen

Abstract

Due to the increasing popularity of personal digital devices, many students listen to music while they study. It is however a controversial issue whether music listening is helpful to study performance. This study investigates the effects of different types of background music on study performance among college students through lab experiments. Two major categories of study activities - reading comprehension and mathematical computation - were examined for four different treatments of background music style (i.e., soft music, rock music, heavy metal music, and no music). For each student subject, objective measures, such as test scores and heart rates, were recorded for all conditions of the experiment design. Subjective measures concerning treatment evaluations along with personal preference and behaviours on music listening were instrumented in the individual interviews after the experiments. Data analysis on the objective measures indicates that neither test scores nor heart rates of reading comprehension and mathematic computation for different styles of background music are with statistical significance. However, significant gender differences were found and the influences were distinct for the two study activities tested. By further cross-referencing with the subjective measures, our results suggest that, for a better studying performance, college students may choose to listen to background music with preferred music for reading activities but non-preferred music for mathematic computation.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
Chen, A.-C., & Wen, C.-S. (2015). The Effects of Background Music Style on Mathematical Computation and Reading Comprehension. International Journal for Innovation Education and Research, 3(12). Retrieved from http://ijier.net/index.php/ijier/article/view/497
Section
Articles

References

[1] Andersson, P. K., Kristensson, P., Wästlund, E., & Gustafsson, A. (2012). “Let the music play or not: The influence of background music on consumer behavior.” Journal of retailing and consumer services, 19(6), 553-560.
[2] Bellezza, F. (1996) “Mnemonic methods to enhance storage and retrieval”, In: E. Bjork and R. Bjork (Eds), Memory, pp. 345-380. New York: Academic Press.
[3] Burns, J.L., E. Labbé, B. Arke, K. Capeless, B. Cooksey, A. Steadman, C. Gonzales (2002) “The Effects of Different Types of Music on Perceived and Physiological Measures of Stress”, Journal of Music Therapy, XXXIX (2), 101-116.
[4] Deems, D.A. (2001) The Effects of Sound on Reading Comprehension and Short-Term Memory. Department Of Psychology, MWSC.
[5] Deng, S., Wang, D., Li, X., & Xu, G. (2015). “Exploring user emotion in microblogs for music recommendation”. Expert Systems with Applications, 42(23), 9284-9293.
[6] Fassbender, E., Richards, D., Bilgin, A., Thompson, W. F., & Heiden, W. (2012). “VirSchool: The effect of background music and immersive display systems on memory for facts learned in an educational virtual environment.” Computers & Education, 58(1), 490-500.
[7] Jucan, D., & Simion, A. (2015). “Music Background in the Classroom: Its Role in the Development of Social-emotional Competence in Preschool Children”. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180, 620-626.
[8] Kasiri, F. (2015) “The impact of non-lyrical Iranian traditional music on reading comprehension performance of Iranian EFL learners: The case of gender, attitude, and familiarity”, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 199, 157 – 162.
[9] Kiger, D.M. (1989) “Effects of music information load on a reading comprehension task”, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 69, 531-534.
[10] Liu, B., Huang, Y., Wang, Z., & Wu, G. (2012). “The influence of background music on recognition processes of Chinese characters: An ERP study”. Neuroscience letters, 518(2), 80-85.
[11] Manthei, M., S.N. Kelly (1999) “Effects of popular and classical background music on undergraduate math test scores”, Research Perspectives in Music Education, 1, 38-42.
[12] Nittono, H., A. Tsuda, Y. Nakajima (2000) “Tempo of background sound and performance speed”, Perceptual & Motor Skills, 90 (3/2), 1122.
[13] Pietschnig, J., M. Voracek, A.K. Formann (2010) “Mozart effect- a meta-analysis”, Intelligence 38 (3), 314-323.
[14] Tucker, A., B.J. Bushman (1991) “Effects of rock and roll music on mathematical, verbal, and reading comprehension performance”, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 72, 942.
[15] Zhang, J., & Gao, X. (2014). “Background music matters: Why video games lead to increased aggressive behavior?.” Entertainment Computing, 5(2), 91-100.