Effect of Different Music Genres on the Mind

Table of Content

 Why I chose this topic? Whilst many of my peers chose such topics as “The effect of propellers on velocity of an aircraft” and “The best water filtration method,” I decided to take a different approach to my selected topic for my first-hand investigation.

I wanted to spend the next 3 months investigating not only a topic which interested me, considering my demographics, but one which also was relevant to my age group and that would benefit me in the knowledge I gained from this experiment. I wanted to take a more creative approach to my Individual Research Project. I undertook a survey of 50 of my peers asking them the following questions: Yes| 27| No| 23| Question 1: Do you listen to music while completing homework and/or studying? Yes| 41| No| 9| Question 2: Do you listen to the radio in your car?

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After observing these results, I could come to a conclusion that a large proportion of students in my age group listen to music while completing homework or studying. The question arose in my mind if music actually has an effect on a teenager’s mind. If so, would it be negative or positive? And would the genre have an influence on the effect? I wanted to research how different music genres affected my learning, particularly in regards to memory (when studying and remembering information), concentration (when aiming for accuracy and efficiency in completing homework) and conceptual reasoning.

Another sub-part of my experiment would also be the effect of music on reaction time. My interests were aroused after studying reaction time in car accidents and the influences on it in science class (relating to Newton’s Laws of Physics). I was curious to investigate if different music genres had an effect on our reaction time in a car accident, considering that so many people listen to radios in cars.

So as you can observe, I have chosen this topic because it affects and is relevant to me and my peers, and I would like to investigate how different music genres affect my concentration and memory when studying, and how music affects drivers’ reaction time to an accident, as I will soon be eligible to drive at the age of 16. Before I conduct my experimenting, I will first undergo research in this field on relevant information to further strengthen my knowledge of the topic and providing me with background knowledge and information to base my experiment around. Summary of Prior Research into my topic:

Through research, music is found to have a significant effect on the process of learning and thinking. It is shown that if work is accompanied by quiet and soothing music, it helps the listener think, analyse and work faster in a more efficient manner. Furthermore, music develops a positive attitude in the listeners and provides them with motivation to complete the task. Research has shown that music brings about remarkable improvements in one’s academic skills It is proven that listening to any kind of music helps build music-related pathways in the brain, thus improving one’s memory and concentration levels.

However, does the music genre have an influence on this effect? Is one genre more beneficial than the other? It has been shown that one of the strongest effects of music on the brain is in the area of memory. A tempo of a steady rate of 60 beats per minute is shown to be ideal for positive effects on one’s memory as it is proven that the silence between two musical notes triggers the brain cells and neurons, which are responsible for the development of sharp memory. Classical music fits into both of these criteria’s, proving that it is the most beneficial music genre for improving one’s intellectual ability.

Research has also proven that classical music from the baroque period causes the heart beat and pulse rate to relax to the beat of the music. As the body becomes relaxed and alert, the mind is able to concentrate more easily. The Mozart effect is a phenomenon that states that when an individual listens to classical music, their intellectual and motor abilities increase and become more efficient. It has a profound effect on young children because their minds are still developing at a rapid rate and their neural pathways are easily influenced.

The music composed by Mozart has a 60 beat per minute pattern that is repetitive throughout his pieces. This pattern activates the right and left hemispheres of the brain and it strengthens the connections between the neurons that connect the two halves. Strengthening of the neural connections leads to more efficient information processing because the brain must concentrate on comprehending multiple stimuli and it therefore becomes capable of multitasking. According to The Centre for New Discoveries in Learning, learning potential can be increased a minimum of five times by using this 60 beats per minute music.

A number of studies have indicated that listening to Mozart’s work may temporarily increase cognitive skills; however other studies have found no statistically significant “Mozart effect”. The Appalachian State University conducted an experiment on 120 college students to test their spatial reasoning ability and concentration and found that there was no significant effect of Mozart’s music and the results only had small differences which were not statistically different, failing to support the theory of the Mozart Effect.

An additional statistical technique that checked for differences in individual improvement also produced non-significant results. So does classical music really help one’s learning ability? This is one of the area’s which my experiment will look into. According to Harvard University Studies, music plays a vital role in enhancing creativity. Music has a positive impact on the right side of the brain, which deals with the development of creativity. Furthermore, rhythm is also known to help the students learn math, as strong beats cause the brain waves to vibrate in synch with the beat bringing about higher levels of concentration and alertness.

Techno music for example generally has a constantly fast and consistent tempo and rhythm which could potentially aid one’s concentration and spatial reasoning. Some studies have also suggested that music with strong beats or a consistent rhythm could also improve one’s reaction time in a car accident to an extent, as brain waves are caused to resonate in sync to the fast beat of the music, therefore increasing concentration and in turn, your reaction time. Auditory Cortex

Studies and experiments have shown that music affects many different parts of the brain including the auditory cortex and the cellebrum; however experiments on humans have shown that music has a significant effect mainly in the prefrontal cortex which is responsible for many functions including the recollection of memories, concentration and the processing of sound. Appendix of Research: After analysing the information gained from my research, I have gained a greater knowledge into my topic.

I have learnt that music establishes a more positive learning attitude and brings about remarkable improvements in one’s academic skills. I was quite surprised with the fact that any genre of music helps build pathways in the brain by connecting neurons between the 2 hemispheres of the brain, as I assumed that metal music would have a different effect. Another interesting piece of information was that music with a strong beat or rhythm actually increased attention levels as it caused brainwaves to resonate in sync with the fast tempo of music.

I was also surprised by how music can have such a significant effect on one’s memory. However, the most interesting information was the dilemma if classical music really did aid one’s learning abilities, in particular, concentration, spatial reasoning and memory. Although many studies have proven the phenomenon known as the Mozart Effect to be credible, other experiments conducted by universities have proven them otherwise showing that the phenomenon is merely a myth. I was very curious to find out whether the Mozart Effect was credible or not through my research.

However, of course there will be some limitations in proving the theory’s credibility as I lack professionalism and access to resources, for example my results may not necessarily prove the theory credible or not, as I will not be able to test 1000 subjects like other university studies, who even then had conflicting results. However, I will endeavour to ensure maximum validity as possible to in turn produce reliable results. Assessment of reliability of sources: In my research prior to my experimenting I ensured that all sources used in my summary were reliable sources from trusted publishers or authors.

The information was gathered from a diverse range of sources including the Internet, books and teachers (see bibliography). Reliability of some sites like Wikipedia was considered and the information drawn from a variety of sites were compared to ensure that they encompassed the same information as each other. Although most information was the same, some sources gave rise to different ideas especially in regards to if the Mozart effect was credible or not. This is an obvious topic of debate and is subjected to mixed opinions.

The sources used were very reliable including Harvard University Papers and trusted educational websites and books. The research and analysis of my topic was conducted over the space of 1-2 weeks. Prior analysis of experiment Synopsis: I will be conducting a first-hand scientific investigation on “The effect of different music genres on the human mind” with a close look on how music influences concentration, spatial reasoning, short-term memory and reaction time. The topic is related to biology which is the study of life and living organisms.

In summary, after observing my survey results, I chose this topic because it is one which concerns me and my age group, as many teenagers listen to IPods while studying and most drivers listen to the radio while driving motor-vehicles. I am curious to whether music can actually help me in learning information and processing them efficiently. Range of Possible Procedures and Justification of Chosen Method: In my experiment I will be testing changes in 4 different areas of the mind when influenced by different music genres.

These areas are concentration, spatial-reasoning, memory and reaction time. Over a period of a few days I developed several different possible methods to use for each area of the test, and then assessed each one’s validity and acted upon by selecting the most appropriate method which would be valid, reliable, and logical and would abide by all safety recommendations. I devised several different methods and procedures on: * Different Tests to assess reaction time * Different Tests to assess concentration levels Different Tests to assess spatial reasoning ability * Different Tests to assess memory ability * Different music genres to use * Whether to test the same group of people and make them listen to different types of music or test separate groups of subjects, each group specified to one particular music genre (Test Subjects) * The amount of trials to use I will now discuss the different possible methods for each category listed above and justify my chosen method or procedure in detail over the next few pages.

Range of Possible Procedures & Justification of Chosen Method (continued): Test Subjects: One major decision to make was to decide between which method of test subjects I would use for all four parts of my experiment. The first option was to use 4 separate groups of different test subjects and designate each group to their specific music genre to complete the given tests to assess their concentration, memory, spatial reasoning and reaction time.

For example if I had 40 people to test upon, I would designate 10 people to complete tests while listening to Metal music, 10 people to complete tests while listening to Classical music, etc. The second possible method was to use the same group of people who would complete each test 4 times but with different music genres each time, for example, Subject A will listen to metal while completing a test, then he/she will complete the same or similar test while listening to another music genre, e. g. echno, and then the results will be compared to each other. Each method has their advantages and disadvantages which must be considered carefully. The first method where different groups of people were used for each specific music genre (assigned to one) has one obvious disadvantage in that it has less validity than Method 2. This is because one group of people may have a greater intellectual ability than another group, thus making it unfair and unreliable as this would influence the results of the experiment.

For example, the groups are chosen at random- Group A who is assigned to complete tests while listening to Rock/Metal music may be of higher average intellectual ability while Group B who is assigned to be the control group with no music whilst completing tests may be a group of people who the majority generally have lower concentration levels and have poorer intellectual skills than Group A’s test subjects. This would give me unreliable and misleading results as obviously the groups aren’t equal and kept the same (variables) and that Group A will score better than Group B, solely because they are generally smarter, not because of the music’s ffect. Another disadvantage would also be that I would have to test on four times the amount of people I would have to test in Method 2, as I wouldn’t be able to use the same people for each music genre, I would have to get another set of 10 people which would prove time-constraining and difficult. On the other hand, Subject 2 also has its flaws. Since I will be testing the same people repetitively but with different music genres, they will be exposed to the same test over and over again and will eventually get better at the test after more practice.

For example, if Subject A completes a puzzle listening to no music then completes a similar puzzle with classical, they will both have gotten better at puzzles and also have memorised the general structure of it and will have more preparation for this test. This may give misleading results and is a noticeable flaw in this method. However, since we are dealing with humans as test subjects, flaws are inevitable and all I can do is try to make the method as valid and reliable as possible.

Range of Possible Procedures & Justification of Chosen Method (continued): So after assessing the two option, I evaluated that although Method 2 has a small flaw, it is significantly more valid than Method A which has more major flaws and disadvantages in that the test subjects will have different intellectual ability and that time-constraints would be stretched. After weighing these advantages and disadvantages, I have decided to select Method 2 solely because it is more valid and less time consuming. Different Music Genres:

For my first-hand research project, I needed to select a variety of music genres which were diverse and appropriate for the experiment. Two options which had to be chosen were the control (no music) and Classical music (with a bpm of approximately 60 to mimic the “Mozart Effect’s” theory). Possible genres which I could also test upon included Rock, Pop, Rap, Metal, Techno, Jazz and Country however I needed to consider that I had time limitations and that testing one person would take no less than an hour, not to mention that I would be conducting a number of trials to ensure validity.

So I decided to pick 2 more genres to test that were both diverse and different to the other genres (i. e. classical) so I could discriminate between the 2 genres and music which lots of people listened to, so the results would be relevant to my peers and I. I decided that Metal music would be one as it is very different to classical music, lots of people have an interest in that particular genre and that I wanted to prove and clarify to myself that even metal music could be beneficial to my learning, as shown in my summary of prior research into this area.

My fourth genre was to be Techno, because it was very appropriate to my experiment not only because a lot of people listen to it to motivate them, but I again wanted to test if music with fast beats and rhythm actually helped he brain function efficiently in that it caused brainwaves to resonate in sync with the beat, thus bringing about higher levels of concentration and alertness.

So I would be testing Metal music (Master of Puppets by Metallica), a well-known metal band, Techno music (Ultimate Trance by DJ Silver) which had a very fast beat which distinguished this genre from others, Classical music (Nocturne in E minor) as it has a tempo of 68bpm, a typical piece of classical Mozart music, and no music as a control. Number of Trials:

Although having a large number of trials would prove time constraining, considering that each person would take over an hour to test (on all 4 music genres), my priority was to ensure validity and reliability in my results so I decided to undertake 3 trials, and if I had any spare time I would repeat the method once again to ensure validity. Range of Possible Procedures & Justification of Chosen Method (continued) Different Tests to assess reaction time To assess the subject’s reaction time I have devised 3 possible methods I could use.

One potential method could be to use computer software technology to calculate a person’s reaction time where the subject will be required to respond to stimulus on the computer screen. The second method involved playing a game of Snap while listening to different music genres and seeing the reaction time of the person and how well they performed in this game based solely on one’s reaction time. The third possible method would be to use a simple and conventional method as used in Year 10 science class: the ruler drop test.

In this method I will suspend the ruler with two fingers and ask the test subject to line up two fingers on the 0cm mark of the ruler as close to the ruler but without touching it. At any random time I will then drop the ruler and the test subject must respond to this stimulus as fast as possible and catch the ruler. The ruler given that no environment affects gravity will drop while accelerating at approximately 9. 8metres per second per second. Given this information, the formula is devised to calculate your reaction time when using the ruler drop test.

The formula is as follows: Reaction time = square root (distance fallen in centimetres / 490) Method 2 after some thought proved that it would be very difficult to produce reliable and valid results as Snap is a game that although is based on reaction time and concentration, doesn’t have much measureable results, and it can produce varying results each time. I concluded that this method would not be as reliable and logical as the other proposed methods. Both Methods 1 and 3 propose a very reliable, valid and logical approach and have no flaws in it.

However after consideration of both options I chose that the ruler drop test would be more suitable for a number of reasons. Firstly I was more comfortable having control over the tests rather than a computer based program, for example the software may have a distinct trend in when the stimulus appears (e. g. 10seconds after start exactly) which the test subject may pick up on. However on the other hand, if I use the ruler drop test, I can ensure that there is no “programmed trend” and that the sequence will always be randomised.

Another reason is that the ruler drop test would be easier and convenient to conduct in that I have access to those resources instead of having to download or even buy software. Another reason was that this method was clearly credible as it had been used in year 10 Practical experiments, so it seemed suitable for my experiment. Range of Possible Procedures & Justification of Chosen Method (continued) Different Tests to assess concentration levels To assess the test subject’s concentration levels and how different music genres had an effect on it, I devised 3 possible methods which I could use.

My first method involved giving the test subjects a maths worksheet to complete as fast and accurate as they could while listening to the 4 different music types. Method Two required the test subject to solve problems and questions from the quiz book “3D Mind-teasing conundrums” which were problems which required deep thinking and concentration to complete. My third method required the subject to finish a Sudoku as fast as they could while listening to the different music genres separately, i. e. complete a Sudoku while in silence, then complete one while listening to classical music then repeat the same method for the other 2 music genres.

The first method seemed to be the obvious choice in that completing maths worksheets while listening to music would mimic the scenario we are trying to test: How different music genres affected our mind and learning, particularly school students. However, after closer analysis and consideration, I came to a conclusion that this method had a significant disadvantage and flaw in that it did not ensure a convincing amount of validity and reliability because the test subjects could have different mathematical intellect skills and this could produce misleading results.

On the other hand however, method 3 which involves completing Sudoku’s proves to be much more valid and reliable than method 1 as Sudoku’s generally aren’t influenced by one’s mathematical ability because in reality it is just matching numbers up, and is influenced more by concentration levels than maths worksheets. Furthermore, although greater intellectual ability may have a minor influence on how fast you can complete a Sudoku; your intellectual ability affects one’s ability to complete maths worksheets far greater than one’s ability to complete Sudoku’s.

Although using the books “3D conundrums” are a great test of one’s concentration abilities, it is somewhat unreliable in the fact that I won’t be able to use the same quiz in the book for all 4 music genres as the subject would remember the solution to that quiz. Instead I would have to give them a different quiz in the book, and this would in turn mean that one quiz could be much harder than the other and this would again give misleading results. While on the other hand, Sudoku’s generally can have their difficulty compared with each other by their “Difficulty Rating” and they consequently have similar difficulty levels.

Method 3 and the use of Sudoku’s obviously is the method which would give the most accurate and reliable results, and is the most valid method out of the 3. Range of Possible Procedures & Justification of Chosen Method (continued) Different Tests to assess spatial reasoning ability A couple of different possible methods arose in this area of the experiment. My two most valid methods were either using a jigsaw puzzle as an assessment of the subject’s spatial reasoning ability, and the other was to use difficult mazes to see how fast the subjects could complete them in relation to the music they were listening to at the time.

According to Dr. Howard Gardner, spatial reasoning ability involves key aspects such as reasoning about shape, measurement, depiction and navigation. Although both methods encompassed these key aspects, I chose to use mazes as the results would be more measureable and the there would be less variation in the results, as a jigsaw puzzle can be influenced by many different aspects like the game Snap as mentioned earlier.

Mazes also would take a lot less time and time constraints were always on the agenda considering that I would be testing a considerable large amount of people (40), over three trials, and that each person would take one hour per trial. That brings the experimenting time to a total of 120 hours. Different Tests to assess memory ability For this sub-part of the experiment, I decided to decide between 2 different approaches. I could either test long term memory or short-term memory.

To test long term memory and how music affects it, I would have to tell the person a sequence of numbers of facts, and over the next 24 hours they would have to listen to a particular music genre and then attempt to recall the sequence of data 24 hours later. To test short term memory I would use flash cards, and give the subject a series or sequence of symbols and they will have to recall the sequence. If successful, I will add another card to the sequence, and if successful again, another card is added to the sequence making it more difficult.

Like the other methods for the other sub-parts, this will be repeated again with different music genres but with the same or similar difficulty test. After analysing and considering the 2 options, I concluded that method 2 where I used flash cards to test one’s short term memory would be more realistic and reliable. Method 1 contained many flaws including that it would take too long, considering time limitations, would force the test subject to go out of their way to listen to a music genre they may not particularly be comfortable with, and may even cheat by writing the sequence down somewhere to help them remember it.

This would give misleading results and would cause me to make wrong assumptions from the results. Furthermore, the Mozart Effect is claimed to aid one’s intellectual learning ability and short-term memory not long term memory so method 2 would not only be more reliable and logical, ensure more validity, but it would also be more suitable when considering the aim of my experiment. Prior Analysis of Experiment (continued) Discussion of Validity in Chosen Method:

When planning and choosing between possible options in formulating my method for my experiment, my prime concern was always to ensure the maximum amount of validity possibility within my experiment, which would be an essential factor in getting the correct results from my experimenting which should be reliable and accurate. Although my topic is one which I was determined to do and would enjoy over the next 3 months, since it was relevant to me, it inevitably has its limitations in that human beings are the test subjects, and it is evident to one that human beings produce varying results as they are always changing.

Although we cannot change this, I have taken as much consideration and careful planning as possible to ensure the most validity and reliability in my method as possible. Even though it is impossible to make this test a perfectly valid scientific experiment due to the human element, through a carefully devised method and consideration of different methods, I could attain a credible amount of validity in my experiment which should produce accurate and reliable results.

To achieve the most valid and reliable method possible I decided to use the same people for each experiment and make them sit the same or similar test (of same difficulty to maintain validity) but each time with different music. This way would ensure the most validity in that the test subjects are the same and that way other external factors cannot have a misleading influence on the results, for example, if separate groups were designated to test specified music genres as one group may have higher intellectual ability levels than each other, giving them an unfair advantage, thus changing the results.

So as you can see, this method ensures that these test variables are kept the same so the results are not influenced from outside effects. Furthermore, to ensure high validity and results I will repeat my method 3 times. This way I can analyse the results and see if the results were similar across the 3 trials, and if it is, than that would determine that the results would be most likely valid, reliable and accurate, unless the am error was consistent amongst those 3 trials.

If the results are varying than I can complete further research and analyse where the error was made, and assess how I can improve on the method of the experiment to boost the validity and reliability of my chosen method. However, the optimum result would be to obtain similar results across all three trials. Furthermore, this also increases the reliability of the results assuming that hey were somewhat similar and followed the same trends and patterns, as I could find the average of all 3 test results to formulate a more accurate and encompassing final result which would take into account all factors and varying results to find an average most closest to the accurate number or score. Furthermore, I had to keep many variables the same across all my tests and trials to ensure that the results were accurate, and that no outside effect which was not accounted for, had a misleading influence on my results.

Variables that needed to be kept the same to maintain an equal and valid experiment included the songs that the subject’s listened to each time while completing test. These were very important as different songs could produce vastly different results from each other. Another variable that must be kept the same throughout all testing as the volume at which the music was played, which would be at exactly 60% of the maximum volume on my IPod, as the volume could have drastic effects on the results produced as it is a known fact that loud music can be increasingly distracting when completing tasks sometimes.

I also chose to use an IPod and the same brand headphones (different ones for hygiene reasons but same brand) to also ensure that all testing condition were equal and no outside effects influenced the results. Another task to keep the same was the difficulty and basis of the tests the same (will go into depth later). For example, for the memory game where the test subject is required to remember a sequence of symbols and combinations, I must ensure that the sequences are of similar difficulty so that one subject isn’t unfairly advantaged over the other.

For instance, if the symbols are only 0, 1 and 2 (use only for an example), a sequence such as 00012 would be much easier than a test for example 02102 so instead of randomising the sequence I must devise a similar structure for each of the sequences but with a bit of variation and swapping around of symbols, which will maintain the same difficulty within the sequence, but change the sequence over tests so the subject will not be tested on exactly the same test (unreliable). Another important variable to be kept the same would be the environment and testing conditions in which the subject would be tested under.

This included for example the amount of sleep the test subject got before seating the test which would most certainly influence one’s concentration levels. I did my best to ensure that each person received 8 hours approximately before testing on them. Furthermore, I asked them to do their best to refrain from any food or activity which may influence them before testing, e. g. large amounts of sugar or Cola. The testing environment also had to be kept the same throughout all the tests to avoid distractions for some people so I decided to find a constant environment to test in – a library which was always quiet and easy to work in.

These variables are kept the same throughout the experiments to ensure that the conditions are always equal and fair amongst all the test subjects, which in turn will ensure maximum validity and more reliable and accurate results. Prior Analysis of Experiment (continued) Assessment of variables and control My experiment like all others will involve four different variables: The independent variables, the dependent variables, the controlled variables, as discussed earlier in relation to validity, and the confounding variables.

The independent variables are defined as the one that is changed by the scientist to create a change in results from a reaction to this change. In an experiment there is only one. In my experiment, the independent variable will be the music genre in which the subject listens to whilst completing tests to assess his/her learning abilities. I will be changing the music genre (independent variable) throughout the tests to obtain a change in the results so I can then analyse the effect the different music genre or change had on the subject’s test results.

The dependent variable is one that changes in response to the change the scientist makes to the independent variable i. e. the music genre in my experiment. The dependent variable in my experiment is the test results as the test results will change in response to the change of music (independent variable). The dependent variable being the varying test scores and results rely and are influenced by the independent variable, the music genre, which’s the aim of the project, to find how the differentiating music genres affect the human mind.

The specific dependent variable include the test subject’s reaction time (in the ruler drop test), they’re average time in completing the maze given to them to complete (spatial-reasoning ability), the subject’s average time and mistakes in completing a designated Sudoku (concentration levels) and the amount of flash card symbols they manage to remember (memory levels). These scores all will change in response to the changing independent variable which is the different music genre so are defined as the dependent variables.

The controlled variables as discussed earlier in relation to validity (see page 14) are defined as quantities that a scientist wants to remain constant over all the tests, he/she does. They are kept constant so they do not have an effect on the dependent variables or results as we are not aiming to find for example how the human mind and learning ability is affected by a change in the difficulty of different tests, we are finding how different music genres have an effect. Therefore, we must keep the tests the same so they do not have a misleading influence on the results which may not be accounted for.

So I do not repeat myself, a brief outline of the controlled variables include the different songs played while the test subject takes the test, the volume of the music, the same type of earphones, the same tests or ones of similar difficulty, and the environment in which the test is conducted under. This could include the amount of sleep the subject gets before the test, the noise levels and possible distraction around the person and if high sugar levelled food or drink is consumed before the test, for example, Cola. A confounding variable is a particular type of extraneous variable, which for a particular reason has been left uncontrolled.

The result of this variable is that when we look at the outcome or results of an experimental study, rather than only one possible variable (independent variable) exerting an influence on the dependent variable, there are found to be others, and these are said to be confounding the results. For example if a scientist tests whether a pill has an effect on causing high blood pressure, and finds throughout the experiment that in fact it does; however afterwards he discovers that the Group taking the pill had a much higher average age than those with a placebo.

We can conclude that the age difference confounded the findings. The only way to control for potential confounding factors is by checking for these confounding factors at any stage of the experiment. My experiment has been well designed to ensure that these are controlled. For instance, I will test different age groups as well just to see if age has the influence not music. The control is the experiment where you do not alter any of the variables that provides you with a baseline to measure other results against. In my experiment, the control will be when the test subject completes the test in silence without any music.

The results or scores of this control can be then compared with the scores when listening to classical, techno and metal to see if listening to these music genres had a negative or positive impact. Prior Analysis of Experiment (continued) Safety Considerations In my experiment, not only did I have to ensure that the controlled variables were maintained and that the methods were carried out and executed in a valid manner, but I had to take in safety and hygiene considerations. This was very important that my project did not harm or injure any living being or animal, and complied with safety guidelines and recommendations.

Although my experiment did not involve much high risk activities, there were two minor but still important concerns I had to take care of. Firstly I had to ensure that since I would be completing a lot of testing time on each subject, approximately 3 hours per person over 3 trials, that they did not receive any hearing damage due to too loud music over a continuous period of time. If someone is exposed to dangerous levels of noise of a prolonged period of time without hearing protections, the hairs in the cochlea may be flattened permanently.

When this occurs, the hairs cannot detect the vibration of sound waves as efficiently as before, so I had to take in the consideration of others safety when testing upon them. According to studies, only 30minutes exposure in a day to sounds reaching 110 decibels, the equivalent of amplified rock music or a typical nightclub can cause serious or permanent damage to one’s hearing, and only 10minutes exposure to 130db sounds can have even more serious effects. To avoid these injuries, I will only play the music at 60% of the maximum volume on my IPod which is a recommended safe level for listening to music.

Only extremely long periods of listening to this would have a risk of damage to hearing for example 10 hours without break, so it is considered completely safe for this experiment, in that the subject only will listen to 1 hour of music at a time, with intervals between. The other safety/hygiene issue is with sharing earphones as I will be using IPods in a library so will need to conduct the test with earphones. As it is possible to transfer germs or ear infection from one person to another by sharing earphones, I have decided to use one set of earphones for each person for particular safety and personal hygiene reasons.

Music and the brain: http://www. cerebromente. org. br/n15/mente/musica. html Laurence O’Donnell Music on the brain: http://news. harvard. edu/gazette/2001/03. 22/04-music. html : Harvard University Archives The Role of Music: by education oasis http://www. educationoasis. com/resources/Articles/building_babys_brain. htm Effects of Music on the Mind and Brain: http://www. buzzle. com/articles/effects-of-music-on-the-mind-and-brain. html Intelligent Life on the Web ~ Buzzle. com The Influence of Music on Neurons ~ http://serendip. brynmawr. edu/exchange/node/206#comment-113149 ~ Serendip 2007

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