Research shows: listening to music disrupts problem-solving capacity

Listening to music would only have stimulating effects and, among other things, promote creativity. Scientists are now showing the disadvantages.

Research shows: listening to music disrupts problem-solving capacity
Listening to music would only have stimulating effects and, among other things, promote creativity. Scientists are now showing the disadvantages.

Research shows: listening to music disrupts problem-solving capacity

 

Do you like to listen to music when you are studying or working? For a long time you could read that it only had stimulating effects. For example, listening to music would promote creativity. But Swedish and British scientists now state that there are also disadvantages to listening to background music.

 

Psychologists from the English University of Lancaster and the University of Gävle in Sweden discovered that music has a negative influence on our problem-solving capacity.

 

Three types of music

The researchers presented a group of test subjects with a few short verbal tasks. For example, they were asked to solve word puzzles. The test subjects did this at three different times. In the first test, only instrumental music was played in the background. The second test was about music with unknown lyrics. During test number three, music with known lyrics was heard. Then the participants did similar tasks in silence.

 

Same effect

​​​​​​​The presence of background music was found to have a negative effect on performance in all cases. This applied both to instrumental music and to music with known or unknown lyrics. The test subjects had considerably more difficulty with the tasks with music in the background than when they were doing it in silence. Interesting: this effect was just as strong for participants who had previously indicated that they would normally listen to music regularly while they were studying. The researchers suggest that this is because music disrupts our verbal working memory.

 

​​​​​​​In the third experiment, that is, during exposure to music with familiar lyrics, even the creativity of the participants decreased. The researchers also did an experiment with ambient noise, equivalent to that in a library. According to the scientists, this had no effect on the test subjects.