Project Part 1 Case Solution & Answer

Project Part 1 Case Solution 

Part 1 (A)

Project Title:

“Measuring Students’ Compression While Studying: A Study to Investigate the Effects of Lyrical Music, Non-Lyrical Music or Silence on Studying.”

Literature Review:

Researchers and psychologists have shown keen interest in understanding the effects lyrical, non-lyrical music, or silence can have on studying capabilities. Many previous studies have highlighted that music can affect an individual’s productivity either positively or negatively (Shek & Schubert, 2009).Since music can have an emotional impact on its listener, it is proven to affect an individual’s learning and understanding capabilities.(Schellenberg, 2012).Researchers in the past have performed various experiments on control groups to identify the impact, lyrical music, non-lyrical music or silence can have on students studying. The results obtained from the past studies yield mixed or conflicting results, showing that music-ether facilitated, delayed or did not have any effect on studying. Studies that show music can help with certain tasks also indicate that those tasks usually don’t have much of the cognitive learning demand.

The most famous study that spoke in the favor of listening to background music while studying or learning anything is the Mozart effect research(Rauscher & Shaw, 1993). In this study, some participants listened to “Mozart sonata” (a type of instrumental music) and then were tested, while others studied in silence and were then tested. Students or participants that were studying in in the Mozart condition of this study gave better results. The authors of this research documented that music has a direct influence on spatial abilities.

A study in the early 1990s suggested that music may reflect one motions and serve as a distraction when performing tasks (Paulhus, 1990). Researchers performed a detailed investigation on how sounds interrupted-reading and memory-related task, and concluded that music with lyrics and instrumental music both negatively influence these tasks, but to a minimum degree(Boyle, 1996). Studying while listening to lyrical music in one’snative language can be one of the reasons that music affects negatively or positively. In a 2018 study, researchers wanted to investigate if foreign, native, and music without lyrics were helpful for students working on reading related tasks. They found that foreign and instrumental music yield the best results by proving to be less distraction while studying.(Da’Naesha Herring, 2018). A 2008 study based on identifying the effects of vocal and non-vocal music over the memory, suggested that non-lyrical music had less of an effect on memorizing details.(Alley, 2008).

A 2001 research documented the effects of Mozart effect(Jenkins, 2001) and Arousal mood on learning(Thompson, Schellenberg, & Husain, 2001). The study was performed on 24 students both graduated and under graduated. Researchers documented that participants performed way better while listening to Mozart than sitting in silence. Participants were also exposed to sad and slow music but it did not impact their abilities at all.

Some researchers claim that listening to music with or without lyrics is rather harmful while studying. When studying with any sort of background music, the attention of students is divided between their assigned tasks and listening to music(Salam’e & Baddeley, 1989). Music playing in the background can appeal to the student’s attention and therefore can be distinctive and hinders learning (Rey, 2012). Music can become a burden on an individual’s memory (Miller, 1994).A study that was conducted on a research group, comprising of young adults and older adults,studied the impact music might have on their ability to focus on tasks. They found that the older adults faced many difficulties in focusing on their tasks while listening to any sort of music, and they performed significantly worse. Each participant of this study labelled music as very distracting during the task (Reaves, Graham, Grahn, Rabannifard, & Duarte, 2016). In 2009, a study was conducted that investigated the differences between the effects that listening to instrumental or vocal music would have on a student’s ability to study (Kantner, 2009). They concluded that participants’ group that listened to instrumental music performed slightly better in the first part of the study, but the difference between different participant groups was very insignificant. In the second part of the study, which involved taking the test of what both the groups learnt, both participant groups performed equally worse, indicating that music negatively impacted their learning capability. In 2014, the researchers validated the 2009’s study results by performing another experiment. These researchers exhibited that participants that listened to either music with lyrics or without lyrics (instrumental music) while studying, did not have any difference in their performance, but these individuals did perform significantly worse on the test part of the study than those who did not listen to any type of music,be it lyrical or non-lyrical.(Perham, 2015).

A significant amount of researchers disagree that music interferes with learning.Past research argues that listening to any kind of music with lyrics or without lyrics, does not hamper comprehension reading ability (Johansson, 2012). A study conducted in 2004 favors the music, claiming that it,in fact increases one’s comprehension and performance ability while performing cognitive tasks.(Crust, Clough, & Robertson, 2004). The researchers of this study further performed an in-depth experiment and concluded that between lyrical and instrumental music; instrumental music significantly increased the study participants’ ability of completing the cognitive tasks.In an experimental study,researchers examined 8th graders while reading comprehension during a soap opera. They reported that only hearing the audio proved to be less distinctive for students than images or visual imagery(Pool, 2003). A study conducted in 2017 suggests that students often listen to their preferred or favourite genre of music while studying, which tends to calm them during the reading or learning process.(Silasi-Mansat, 2015).

A study performed on college students indicated that music and any sort or background noise are equally distracting when studying, hence silence is the best option when it comes to studying.(Furnham & Strbac, 2002).In an experiment performed on Taiwanese college students; it was found out that taking a reading comprehension test in a silent environment is significantly better than doing the same while listening to music.(Chou, 2010).Multiple past studies suggested multiple outcomes, raising the question of whether the type of music selected influences studying in any way or not.

Many researches and experiments that were performed in the past,mainly focused on identifying the best environment in which students can learn, read or retain information without being distracted. Not much work has been done to identify the degree of effect silence can have on students’ performance. To the best of our knowledge, no work to measure students’ compression has been performed in the past.

The goal of this study is to measure students’ comprehension while studying under the following three specified conditions:

  1. Listening to music with lyrics.
  2. Listening to music without lyrics.
  3. Complete silence.

Research Question:

What effectswillstudents’ learning abilities have when studying while listening to music with lyrics, listening to music without lyrics or having complete silence………………..

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