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Title: Music as Motivation: A Behavioral Study and Neurological Analysis of Music’s Ability to Motivate Work Performance
Authors: Metro, Jordan
Advisors: Taylor, Jordan
Contributors: Jacobs, Barry
Department: Psychology
Class Year: 2014
Abstract: The purpose of this behavioral experiment and following analysis is to examine the relationship between music and performance during work-like situations. While listening to music is one of the most common ways in which people combat the undesirable aspects of cognitively demanding tasks, the reason for this behavior is still not completely understood. This study seeks to investigate why people frequently use music as an external source of motivation, whether or not it is beneficial to do so, and which types of music are responsible for varying results in our ability to perform difficult tasks. Furthermore, we aim to examine which specific mechanisms lead to such benefits or detriments to both performance and subjective experience on a neurological level. Previous research has determined that arousal is a crucial variable when manipulating music in task-performance experiments, and thus will be manipulated in this study. Specifically, we investigated whether the presence of high and low arousal music has the ability to interact with sustained attention and reaction time in a cognitively demanding situation, and whether it can make otherwise undesirable tasks more appealing. In order to accomplish these goals, two experiments were performed. First we defined our stimuli for the following behavioral experiment, using galvanic skin response and subjective report to determine specific songs that induce high and low arousal in human subjects. In the following experiment, subjects performed a continuous performance test of target-nontarget discrimination ability (CPT-AX design) while listening to either high arousal, low arousal, or no music. Our study found that neither high nor low arousal music led to a significant detriment or benefit to cognitive performance or reaction time, but did cause increased perceptions of task desirability.
Extent: 61 pages
Type of Material: Princeton University Senior Theses
Language: en_US
Appears in Collections:Psychology, 1930-2016

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