This study follows the report of the “Mozart effect” by Rauscher Shaw, and Ky (1993, 1995). They indicated that problem solving related skills are enhanced after listening to music composed by Mozart. The objective of this study was to examine whether other music styles of a historical period (Baroque and Renaissance) other than Mozart affect problem solving ability. The method involved twelve participants individually undertaking a test (attempting three problem solving tests each).
The experiment was counter balanced so they therefore did not all complete the same problems to the same music as each other. The participants were all selected via opportunity sampling as this could guarantee thorough and more respectable cooperation with the participants throughout the test, which would improve the results. The two hypotheses stated that there would be differences between Baroque and Renaissance in comparison with the previously proven aid of Mozart.
The mean results exemplified that having Baroque or Renaissance music playing in the background did not improve performance in problem solving as positively as Mozart’s classical music. To test these hypotheses the Related T-test test was used to compare Baroque and Renaissance with Mozart’s classical music to see if there is a significant difference between them. The calculated value from the Related T-Test was 1. 291539956 for Baroque and 1. 640396499 for Renaissance.
The results were not significant enough to accept the original two hypotheses so the null hypothesis had to be accepted. The allegations of this study, its restrictions and implications for further improvements to follow up studies are covered later. Introduction: As revealed through work since Triplett in 1898, Allport in 1920 and through Latane, Williams and Harkins in 1979 it is apparent that social influence can have an effect on an individuals actions and performance.
These peoples work illustrated clearly that social facilitation is very perceptible, as the presence of others appear to facilitate the ones performing the task, be it testing memory or the ability to solve a problem. Another factor that has been proven comparatively recently to affect problem solving is the presence of music. This study follows the report of the “Mozart effect” by Rauscher Shaw, and Ky (1993, 1995). They indicated that problem solving related skills are enhanced after listening to music composed by Mozart.
These reports were published in Science (Holden, 1994) and the APA Monitor (Martin, 1994). The accepted press specified that scientists and the general public are seriously contemplating the possibility that listening to Mozart improve problem solving interrelated capabilities. Listening to music could therefore advance the performance of individuals in the work place. Such associations also provide evidence against contemporary theories of modularity (Fodor, 1983) and multiple intelligences (Gardner, 1993), which argues for independence of functioning across domains.
Rauscher and her colleagues use the trion model (Leng & Shaw, 1991) to suggest the trion model could explain the so-called Mozart effect. This model proposes that exposure to complex musical compositions stimulates cortical firing patterns similar to those used in spatial-temporal reasoning, so that performance on spatial-temporal tasks is affected positively by exposure to Mozart. The Mozart effect is comparable to a psychological phenomena similar to transfer or priming.
The effect could be considered as an illustration of transferral across domains and modalities (i. e. music listening and visual-spatial performance) that are not associated. Transfer is said to take place when acquired information or skills in one circumstance influences performance in another (Postman, 1971). In the case of the Mozart effect, passive listening to music, rather than obvious learning influences performance. The objective of this experiment was to extend the basic findings of these experiments previously mentioned accepting their validity.
The avenue being explored was that of other categorised music in the historical period other than Mozart. Providing it is accepted that Mozart aids performance of a task this experiment assesses whether it essentially is a “Mozart Effect” or whether there are other underlying features of the music that can be found in other historical pieces. Wallace (1994) established that a simple repetitive melody increased performance of activities such as problem solving. According to Turner et al. (1996), the amplitude of a melody is important for task performance.
With the music from the eras that have been selected there is obviously going to be dissimilarity in both recurrence of the melody and amplitude of the melody, which in theory would give affirmative distinctions in performance levels. The origin of the study is similar to that carried out by Mayfield and Moss (1989). They asked students to complete a task with music of fast and slow tempos. The students subsequently accounted that the fast music aroused stress, although they did perform the task quicker. Additionally the participants reported that slower music relaxed them, consequently slowing down the speed of their work.