Monday, April 27, 2020

Post #3- The Mozart Effect

The Mozart Effect is the idea that listening to classical music can enhance the intelligence of people in general and babies in particular. The term was first coined by Alfred A. Tomatis who used Mozart's music as the listening stimulus in his work attempting to cure a variety of disorders. However, it was a research study done by Frances Rauscher, Gordon Shaw, and Catherine Ky that really provoked people to believe in this theory. After conducting their experiment experiment, which was published in Nature, they found a temporary enhancement of spatial-reasoning, as measured by spatial-reasoning sub tasks of the Stanford-Binet IQ test. This did not prove the thesis of the Mozart effect, but to the public it made it seem real. In fact, as a result, the United States' Governor of Georgia, Zell Miller, proposed a budget to provide every child born in Georgia with a CD of classical music. This just shows how easily people can be influenced, even by a single study. While we would all like for this theory to be true. the weight of subsequent evidence following the initial study supports either a null effect, or short-term effects related to increases in mood and arousal, with mixed results published after the initial report in Nature. However, if you are still interested in listening to Mozart to boost your cognitive abilities, there are plenty of people who sells collections of Mozart’s music specifically for this. Music therapist Don Campbell has released multiple volumes, the first of which is pictured below.

From my own perspective, I have never been a fan of listening to anything while I work. In middle school, many of my teachers would put on classical music while we worked, and I did not like it at all. It did not help me concentrate, and most definitely did not improve my "spatial reasoning." I am not, and never will be an advocate of the Mozart Effect.

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