Main Article Content
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.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Submission of an article implies that the work described has not been published previously (except in the form of an abstract or as part of a published lecture or academic thesis), that it is not under consideration for publication elsewhere, that its publication is approved by all authors and tacitly or explicitly by the responsible authorities where the work was carried out, and that, if accepted, will not be published elsewhere in the same form, in English or in any other language, without the written consent of the Publisher. The Editors reserve the right to edit or otherwise alter all contributions, but authors will receive proofs for approval before publication.
Copyrights for articles published in IJIER journals are retained by the authors, with first publication rights granted to the journal. The journal/publisher is not responsible for subsequent uses of the work. It is the author's responsibility to bring an infringement action if so desired by the author.
 Bellezza, F. (1996) â€œMnemonic methods to enhance storage and retrievalâ€, In: E. Bjork and R. Bjork (Eds), Memory, pp. 345-380. New York: Academic Press.
 Burns, J.L., E. LabbÃ©, B. Arke, K. Capeless, B. Cooksey, A. Steadman, C. Gonzales (2002) â€œThe Effects of Different Types of Music on Perceived and Physiological Measures of Stressâ€, Journal of Music Therapy, XXXIX (2), 101-116.
 Deems, D.A. (2001) The Effects of Sound on Reading Comprehension and Short-Term Memory. Department Of Psychology, MWSC.
 Deng, S., Wang, D., Li, X., & Xu, G. (2015). â€œExploring user emotion in microblogs for music recommendationâ€. Expert Systems with Applications, 42(23), 9284-9293.
 Fassbender, E., Richards, D., Bilgin, A., Thompson, W. F., & Heiden, W. (2012). â€œVirSchool: The effect of background music and immersive display systems on memory for facts learned in an educational virtual environment.â€ Computers & Education, 58(1), 490-500.
 Jucan, D., & Simion, A. (2015). â€œMusic Background in the Classroom: Its Role in the Development of Social-emotional Competence in Preschool Childrenâ€. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Sciences, 180, 620-626.
 Kasiri, F. (2015) â€œThe impact of non-lyrical Iranian traditional music on reading comprehension performance of Iranian EFL learners: The case of gender, attitude, and familiarityâ€, Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences 199, 157 â€“ 162.
 Kiger, D.M. (1989) â€œEffects of music information load on a reading comprehension taskâ€, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 69, 531-534.
 Liu, B., Huang, Y., Wang, Z., & Wu, G. (2012). â€œThe influence of background music on recognition processes of Chinese characters: An ERP studyâ€. Neuroscience letters, 518(2), 80-85.
 Manthei, M., S.N. Kelly (1999) â€œEffects of popular and classical background music on undergraduate math test scoresâ€, Research Perspectives in Music Education, 1, 38-42.
 Nittono, H., A. Tsuda, Y. Nakajima (2000) â€œTempo of background sound and performance speedâ€, Perceptual & Motor Skills, 90 (3/2), 1122.
 Pietschnig, J., M. Voracek, A.K. Formann (2010) â€œMozart effect- a meta-analysisâ€, Intelligence 38 (3), 314-323.
 Tucker, A., B.J. Bushman (1991) â€œEffects of rock and roll music on mathematical, verbal, and reading comprehension performanceâ€, Perceptual and Motor Skills, 72, 942.
 Zhang, J., & Gao, X. (2014). â€œBackground music matters: Why video games lead to increased aggressive behavior?.â€ Entertainment Computing, 5(2), 91-100.