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Effects of Classical Music on Cognitive Development

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Field Research Paper

Jennifer Janke


July 16, 2018

Adam Castleberry

Effects of classical music on cognitive development

The link between music and intelligence has been widely discussed in the media, even becoming a part of pop culture as the so-called “Mozart effect.” The different articles reviewed and researched, speak about different age groups and the effect of classical music on intelligence as well as artistic skills and general increase in health and learning capabilities. While with some experiments there was no evidence of any change whatsoever, some did show significant changes in IQ and intelligence. Three experiments that were conducted included a group of 10-year old participants, another with a group of 5-year-old participants, and the last one used undergraduate students, which means an average of 22 year old participants. With the last article reviewed, 4 year old Japanese boys were exposed to play with toys, before introduction to music and also evaluated after the Mozart introduction with valuing toys. The results of all the studies are quite different because some had significant results while others had no results at all. The best results, however came from the second and the third tests as the procedure was done differently. When considering the research projects and experiments, you also have to consider the APA ethics code because imagine you are publishing something and selling it, knowing you are making profit, but you do not even know if the product works.

Enhanced areas of Development

The Mozart effect claims to have improvement with IQ and overall intelligence. From all

The articles and research studies performed, children and adults responded fairly the same to

Improvements with creativity and better performance. This was visible with the 10-year-old

participants. Researchers have speculated that this effect may assist infants and children in

developing their spatiotemporal and other cognitive abilities (Rauscher, 199; Shaw 2000). When

comes to the other two experiments, which used 5-year-old and undergraduate participants, aged

18-23-year-old), there was quite some evidence the extend beyond measures of spatial-temporal

ability. With the last experiment of 4 year-old Japanese, the value of toys was evaluated before

Mozart introduction and afterwards. Without music, the boys seem to devalue the toys because

all of the sudden one child did not want to play with a toy another did already. When it comes to

evaluating the experiment after Mozart was introduced, the value of the toy was so much more

and it was being shared.

Investigation Issue

Some of the research and their studies find no evidence of the Mozart effect, but when it

comes to children and young adults, there seems to be a correlation with improvement in health,

creativity, and intellectual abilities. Little to no evidence was found with the first experiment,

which uses 10-year-old participants and the atmosphere was a silent environment and then after

the event of listening to the music, they were conducting questionnaires, which may have

influenced the results. With the different research strategies and age, different results were

obtained from each experiment. As with the last experiment, the 4-year-old boys seemed to

reduce dissonance with this cognition that the toy was attractive after the introduction to music.

Promoting healthy development and benefits

Per the article from Crncec, there is a prediction that nay effect of music exposure on

spatiotemporal ability would be attributable to (a) differences in baseline spatiotemporal ability,

(b) preference for the listening condition, (c) mood following the listening condition, and/or (d)

musical ability (Crncec, 2006). With Schellenberg experiments on the 5-year-old and

undergraduate participants, records of emotional state, cognitive tests and effects of arousal and

mood was judged across age and cultures listening to familiar children songs and to classical

music. Better performance was seen with familiar songs than with classical music when it came

to the drawings with the young Asian children and this will help proving that cognitive factors,

such as creativity are built with the exposure to music



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