Anyone who has studied for anything will likely relate to the idea of a “study playlist” – a set of tracks you put on to get yourself into the mood to study. If you take a deeper look at those playlists, you’ll find that the majority of them consist of instrumental or electronic productions, but why is that?
Unsurprisingly, music with lyrics can be distracting. In an recent experiment conducted by Carol A. Smith and Larry W. Morris of Middle Tennessee State University, “it was revealed that students who listened to their preferred type of lyrical music whilst taking a series of tests did not perform as well as did students who listened to sedative music.”
In the same way, “sedative” music is better for cognitive function than aggressive music or no music at all.
A study conducted in 2002 exposed children of ages seven to ten to calm, relaxing music as they took a series of arithmetic and memory tests, and then to loud, aggressive music while they took similar tests. Afterwards the children took the same tests in silence. The results showed that calming music greatly enhanced test-taking abilities, while aggressive music served as a distraction. However, this study neglected to take into account different personality types, thus it is yet unknown if this affects both introverts and extroverts equally.
Now, none of these “discoveries” are groundbreaking in any way. A lot of experiments, and science in general, are conducted to confirm hypotheses, many already accepted as truth. What these results will do is give you an excuse to keep blasting dubstep when your roommate complains.
“It’s helping me study, bro!”