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Wilson 1 Rhiannon Wilson Megan Keaton ENC1102.

31 31 March 2014 Its often said that music, especially classical music, increases test scores, and intelligence. Unfortunately for those who wish to become smarter without studying, many scientists believe this to be nothing more than a myth. In 1993, research was conducted and this myth was labeled The Mozart Effect. However, the existence of such an effect remains to be seen, as most attempted replications of the 1993 experiment have failed to yield positive results. Initially, in 1993, an experiment was conducted by three scientists: Rauscher, Ky, and Shaw. Their intent was to test the effectiveness of classical music, specifically Mozarts Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major, on intelligence (Steele). They found that, while it did not affect general intelligence, the Sonata increased the spatial-reasoning section of the Stanford-Binet Intelligence Scale (Steele). Unfortunately, after the subjects listened to the sonata for ten minutes, it disappeared fairly quickly, lasting a short ten to fifteen minutes (Steele). Although the original experiment was tested twice with similar results, since 93, scientists have failed time and time again to replicate it with positive results (Steele). Because of this failure, there are many who believe that the Mozart Effect is only a dream, not a reality. Seeing the negative results produced by later experiments, Rauscher and Shaw pointed out everything that couldve caused the dissimilar outcome (Steele). An experiment performed in 1995 followed the original experiment exactly but did not display

Wilson 2 proof of the existence of the Mozart Effect. In fact, the only major data that the 1995 experiment provided was the effect on mood; people tended to be happier after listening to Mozarts Sonata opposed to those who were not exposed to it (Steele). Furthermore, in tests that yielded the same results as the original experiment found that the Mozart effect is not limited to musical scores composed by Mozart. Other classical songs with the same complex structure have been found to work just as well (Steele). In addition to Steele, Goldenberg suggests that music could potentially improve mental functioning but explains that any influence that music has on test scores is most likely due to the positive change in mood and arousal rather than the proposals made by Rauscher and associates (2). According to research conducted by many, music has shown to be an anxiety and stress reliever. Its been proven that music affects test scores due to this stress reduction, and takes the students attention away from negative stimuli, allowing him or her to focus more (Goldenberg 2-3). However, Goldenberg states that musics positive effect may be dependent on the genre the person prefers. Perhaps someone who listens to rap might hate classical music, negatively affecting their mood, and, in turn, his or her test scores (3). Having been tested, its been proven that participants who received enjoyment from a particular genre received higher test scores (3). Again, Rauschers theories are questioned. In contrast to the aforementioned scientists, there are some, such as JS Jenkins, who do not automatically refute the existence of the Mozart effect. Jenkins claims that there has to be some truth to this theory based on the rat experiments conducted by Rauscher and his associates (Jenkins). In this experiment, there were two groups; one group was exposed to Mozart, and the other was not. The rats then had to navigate a maze; the rats who were

Wilson 3 played Mozarts sonata completed the maze more quickly and efficiently than their companions. Based on the test results, Jenkins argues and challenges both Goldenbergs, and Steeles conclusions, claiming that arousal and mood change couldnt possibly be the cause of improvement in spatial-reasoning, or mental functioning (Jenkins). One of Jenkinss theories as to why the Mozart effect exists is based on the different regions of the brain. Using PET scans, it is indicated that the area of the brain that processes music overlaps with the area that processes spatial-temporal tasks. This suggests that music prime[s] the activation of those areas of the brain which are concerned with spatial reasoning (Jenkins). Another example that Jenkins uses in his defense of the Mozart effect involves the effect on epilepsy. Supposedly, Mozarts music helps epileptics, and comatose patients (Jenkins). This being said, if a person is in a coma, he cannot like or dislike music, thus disputing the idea that mood changes have a major impact on the brain. Jenkins also states that the Mozart effect is not solely subjected to Mozarts music; while there arent definite guidelines as to what counts, similar music, such as Bach, can have the same affect (Jenkins). Despite all his contrasting opinions, he does agree that the Mozart effect does not increase general intelligence, only spatial-temporal reasoning, and that it only lasts for ten to fifteen minutes (Jenkins). Another author by the name of Rauscher agrees more with Steele than Jenkins. He explains that, despite the widespread belief, music does not increase general intelligence. A more recent study of the Mozart effect has said that classical music does not influence all spatial-reasoning tasks, but is limited to a specific type of spatial task that requires mental rotation in the absence of a physical model (Hetland 1-2). Also, a study conducted with children subjects produced a complete lack of change. It seems that if the Mozart effect does exist, it only

Wilson 4 affects adults. Rauschers conclusions agree with those of Rudi Crncec, and Sarah Wilson. These two scientists exposed children to Mozarts Sonata, popular music, and silence, and then tested them. No matter which situation they were in, there was no difference in the test scores. In accordance with Greenbergs inferences, the childrens mood and arousal levels were positively affected by the popular music, songs that they particularly liked, but despite that increase, the test scores still remained unaffected. These results, mixed with studies done by McKelvie and Low, have deduced that the Mozart effect, if it exists at all, does not affect children. In addition to the information supplied by these researchers, a personal interview was conducted with Samantha Robbins. She was asked several questions regarding her experience with music while studying. Mostly listening to classical music and movie soundtracks, Samantha explained that the music helped her retain information, but not in the way Rauscher suggested. She said that the music helped to block out her surroundings, ridding her of any distractions that could cause her to lose focus. In turn, by increasing her ability to focus, Samantha was able to study more information in a shorter period of time, and remember more of the material. In addition, in the original study, Rauscher used a faster tune in his study. According to Samantha, lively songs decrease her ability to focus. In order to impact her studying positively, she needs to listen to slower, sadder songs. Based off of the interview, the existence of the Mozart effect remains to be seen. Goldenbergs research and conclusions firmly agree with Samanthas experiences with the combination of music and studying. Like mentioned previously, Goldenberg suggests that the Mozart effect has less to do with the priming and stimulation of the brain, and more to do with change in mood, and the reduction of stress and anxiety. Based off of her interview, it can be concluded that the music she listens to reduces stress, therefore making it easier to block out her

Wilson 5 surroundings, and focus more. Its also important to mention her appreciation, and love of classical music. Her enjoyment of it is most likely the cause of her stress relief, whereas listening to music she was not fond of would not have such a similar effect. Despite all the negative results that researchers such as Goldenberg, Steele, and Rudi received, Goldenberg and Rudi both admit that their experiments could possibly have failed due to methodological issues. According to Rudi, the use of a single measure of spatiotemporal reasoning represents a methodological concern common to Mozart effect studies (313). It would be best to check the Mozart effect against several different spatiotemporal tests to fully conclude whether is exists or not. In Goldenbergs study, the results were affected by the amount of exposure the students being tested had. The sessions in which they listened to music were optional, so some students had more exposure than others. That being said, the students who didnt attend those sessions adversely affected the results because they could not have been affected by the classical music (10). Although Rauscher tried to address all aspects of the experiments that could have negatively affected the replicated results, many researchers were still not able to get the same results, even though they adhered to all the advice that Rauscher gave (Steele). In conclusion, the majority of these few researchers agree that the Mozart effect does not exist. However, if it does in any way have some effect, it only affects adults, not children. Music is found to affect intelligence and test scores because of its effect on mood and arousal, instead of its ability to stimulate the brain. Although Rauscher, Ky, and Shaw completed their experiments with positive results in 1993, since then, there have been too many failed replications to support the actual existence of the Mozart effect.

Wilson 6 Works cited rnec, Rudi, Sarah J. Wilson, and Margot Prior. "No Evidence For The Mozart Effect In Children." Music Perception 23.4 (2006): 305-317. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

Goldenberg, Matthew A., Anna H. L. Floyd, and Anne Moyer. "No Effect of a Brief Music Intervention on Test Anxiety and Exam Scores in College Undergraduates." Journal of Articles in Support of the Null Hypothesis 10.1 (2013): 1-16. JSTOR. Web. 21 Feb. 2014. Jenkins, JS. The Mozart effect. J R Soc Med 94.4 (Apr. 2001): 170-172. Web. 23 Feb. 2014.

Rauscher, Frances H., and Sean C. Hinton. "The Mozart Effect: Music Listening Is Not Music Instruction." Educational Psychologist 41.4 (2006): 233-238. Academic Search Complete. Web. 10 Mar. 2014.

Robbins, Samantha. Personal interview. 8 Mar. 2014 Steele, Kenneth M., Karen E. Bass, and Melissa D. Crook. "The Mystery of the Mozart Effect: Failure to Replicate." Psychological Science 10.4 (1999): 366-9. JSTOR. Web. 21 Feb. 2014.