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An investigation into the Mozart Effect.

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Introduction

Psychology Unit 3 - Coursework An investigation into the Mozart Effect Introduction Background research Modern technology is increasing at an amazing rate, everyone is trying to keep up and have cutting edge equipment. This is very much important in school systems as well as other areas of life. With technology now being such a dominant factor in classrooms, teachers are doing all they can to incorporate technology into their teaching. This includes playing music during tests. Teachers may see this as a way to relax students and reduce anxiety, thus helping their test performance. There is research however, that states to achieve maximal scores on a test, studying should be done with the same cues present as during testing. For example, if the student listened to Mozart's 5th concerto whilst studying, he may recall the facts better during the exam if the same piece of music is played. According to the encoding specificity principle of memory, (Thompson & Tulving, 1970) the most effective retrieval cues at the time of recall are cues that contain information that was processed at the time the "to be remembered material" was studied. Therefore, for the music to help the student during testing, it should be played during studying also. This brings up the issue of whether or not studying with music effects test performance. Many students feel that studying with music helps. ...read more.

Middle

and then asked to turn the sheets back over. 5) The word lists will be collected and the blank sheets handed out. 6) The participants will now have 2 minutes to write down as many words as they can recall from the list. 7) After 2 minutes they will be stopped and the sheets collected. 8) The participants will be debriefed, "you have been part of an experiment to show the Mozart effect, which is the effect of classical music on learning ability. It has been shown in the past that classical music can temporarily boost brain activity and increase learning ability." Controls Extraneous variables Time of day - the time of day may affect the learning ability of some participants but to avoid this problem, both groups will take the test between 10 am and 11 pm Mood - Whether the participants are in a good or bad mood may affect their ability to learn the words. State of alertness - whether each participant has slept well the last night or is ill may affect their learning ability. Individual ability - the intelligence may vary between participants but as they all come from the same private school and year group there will probably be little difference. Time of day can be controlled, as can individual ability to some stage but not totally. Mood and state of alertness are beyond control. ...read more.

Conclusion

There were 15 participants in each group from a total year group of approximately 140 students, which means 21% of the target population was tested. However, ethnicities of samples are completely random hence its range can be vast or very limited. The participants, depending on who was in each class can be widely varied and include every ethnicity from our school, or be entirely English. It is completely random. It is probably possible to generalise beyond the target population to an extent. Therefore, it can be concluded that it can be generalised beyond the target population to all 16 - 17 year olds in Kings College School. Application to everyday life The results show that the findings do not agree with the majority of Rauscher's work. Applying this to everyday life would make little difference to learning since it does not affect it. However it is useful that students will know that it has no effect on their learning according to this experiment. It is a pity that the affects of music on spatial tasks do not transfer to learning tasks but perhaps the experiment would have different results in a different culture of circumstance, or maybe in students own homes music has a different affect on their learning due to the environment. Appendices * Word list for condition 1 and 2 : 1. Glove 2. Lead 3. Keys 4. Cup 5. Room 6. Coke 7. Snow 8. Tape 9. Pants 10. Beak 11. Lock 12. Rain 13. Meat 14. Nail 15. Town 16. School 17. Gun 18. Ball 19. Film 20. Badge Alex Harlock ...read more.

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