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Wilson 1 Rhiannon Wilson ENC1102.

31 Megan Keaton JTC Page 1 The sound of a foot tapping echoed through the room. The anxiety radiating off of JS Jenkins was nearly tangible. About to present his dissertation in front of a professional committee, Jenkins was seated on a hard, wooden bench placed in the hallway outside the conference room. Alongside him was Rhiannon, Jenkins professor, who guided him through the process of writing his dissertation. Rhiannon: (slightly irritated) Would you stop that? Jenkins: (turns to face Rhiannon) What? Rhiannon: The foot tapping. What else? Youre making me nervous, and Im not the one who has to stand in front of the committee. Jenkins: (Stops tapping) Im sorry. Its just that this moment is too important to mess up; its what Ive been working towards for years. Ive worked too hard to fail now. Rhiannon: Well, youre going to have to be able to talk, and by the looks of you, Im wondering if that is going to be possible. Plus, youre sweating so much that it appears as if youve just run a 5K. Relax. Having a panic attack is not going to get you anywhere. Jenkins: (Foot starts tapping once again) I know, I know. It is just so difficult to imagine things going perfectly. Rhiannon: Nothing ever goes perfectly; perfection is unattainable. However, if you remain optimistic, and confident in yourself and your research, the meeting can be completed smoothly, and efficiently.

Wilson 2 Jenkins: What if they discover many flaws in my research? What do I Steele: Mr. Jenkins? Were ready for you. Jenkins looks at Rhiannon quickly, anxiety evident in his eyes. Rhiannon smiles reassuringly at him, and he turns and enters the conference room. Rhiannon: (whispers quietly to herself) I know youll do great.

There are six committee members seated around an oblong glass table with four steel legs, all ranging in age and appearance. Jenkins walks into the conference room and goes straight to the head of the table. Steele takes a seat, and he and the other members motion Jenkins to proceed. Jenkins: (clears throat nervously) Ladies and gentlemen, my dissertation responds to the topic of the Mozart Effect. In 1993, a study was conducted by Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky on the effects of Mozarts Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major. The point of this experiment was to see if this classical track had any effect on the brain and intelligence. Their tests yielded positive results, concluding that Mozarts Sonata affected intelligence in a beneficial way. Like many other experiments, some of the test subjects were rats. Rauscher, and associates, played Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major for one rat, and left the other alone. They then had both rats run through a maze; the rat that listened to Mozart completed the maze faster than his companion. In another experiment, the scientists tested their theory on human subjects. Rauscher had a control group and dependent group. Playing the music for the dependent group, he discovered that Mozarts song raised the IQ of the subjects in that particular group. The subjects that were not exposed to the Sonata remained unaffected, concluding that the song did, in fact, affect test scores. However, the Mozart Effect does not increase general intelligence, instead only affects

Wilson 3 spatial-temporal tasks. Rauscher explained that the area of the brain, the #part-of-the-brain, responsible for spatial temporal tasks are the same parts that process music. These findings suggest that music activates these regions of the brain, enhancing spatial reasoning. I have found that due to the positive results yielded from Rauscher, Shaw, and Kys experiments, the Mozart Effect does exist. Thank you for listening. Steele: (clears throat) Thank you, Mr. Jenkins. If you will excuse us, the committee will reconvene in one hour. The six committee members all stood up, and Jenkins briefly bowed his head in a polite gesture, and exited the boardroom.

Once out of the boardroom, Jenkins practically ran to Rhiannon, who was sitting quietly in the hall. Rhiannon: So, howd it go? Were you able to present all the information sufficiently? Jenkins: Yes. Unfortunately, the hard part begins once we convene. Theyre going to point out any flaws they see in my dissertation. Rhiannon: I know its going to be hard, but you just have to suffer through it. Youve got this. You have spent more than a year researching this topic. You should know the subject like the back of your hand. When the committee raises an issue, dont panic. Keep calm, take deep breaths, and think rationally. Jenkins: Thanks, professor. I hope youre right. Rhiannon: Of course I am! When am I ever wrong? Jenkins: (Rolls his eyes) Well, in my experience

Wilson 4 Rhiannon: Dont. Never tell a woman shes wrong. Its a lesson youll do well to remember. Jenkins: (laughs) Are you really giving me advice about girls right now? Rhiannon: What can I say? I give good advice. Plus, the more you think about other things, the less time youll have to freak out about defending your work. Jenkins: Thanks.

Meanwhile, the committee members were gathered around the conference table. Steele: There is one huge flaw in his dissertation. Since 1993, most replications of the original experiments by Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky have ended with different results. Most tests conclude that the Mozart Effect does not exist. Rudi: I completely agree with that statement. The failure to replicate is a serious problem regarding his dissertation. Goldenberg: I do want to point out that this failure to support [the] hypotheses should be viewed in terms of the specific methodological details and limitations of the study before completely dismissing the possibility that the Mozart Effect is actually real. Steele: True. It has been proven that Mozart, and other classical musicians, can affect mood, and that people are generally happier after having listened to them. Goldenberg: It also reduces test anxiety, which in turn could possibly enhance test scores. Steele: Theres a possibility. Rauscher: I like how Jenkins mentioned that the Mozart Effect doesnt affect general intelligence; it only enhances spatial-temporal reasoning. The ability to mentally rotate something in the absence of a physical model could be useful on an IQ test. Perhaps that could

Wilson 5 be why IQ test scores are sometimes higher. Steele: Perhaps. I still think that the failure to replicate is a huge problem.