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    The Renaissance condition Essay

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    Although the mean demonstrates a disparity in scores between different types of music it cannot show the difference between these groups of scores. The range shows the variation in the data although it only takes into account the two extreme scores. This cannot give a good description of the groups as an odd score will seriously affect the results and is not very representative of the group as a whole. From the results a standard deviation has been used to measure the distribution of scores around the mean.

    As can be seen from the table above or the standard deviation bar chart, Mozart’s classical music has the smallest standard deviation, followed by renaissance and then Baroque. This reveals that 68. 26% of all scores in the Mozart condition lie between 78 seconds and 203 seconds and 95. 44% of all scores lie between 16 seconds and 266 seconds. This is a comparably low standard deviation compared to the other two conditions.

    The Renaissance condition had 68. 26% of all scores between 106 seconds and 259 seconds and the Baroque condition had 68.26% of all scores between 96 seconds and 269 seconds. To analyse the results the Related T-Test test was also used to test the significance of the experiment. The Related T-Test was used as the design was a repeated measure design and the data type was ratio. As shown by the mean in the table above there was a positive difference between the time taken to complete the problem solving experiment and the type of music. This difference is also demonstrated in the graphs drawn to show the initial results before statistical analysis. Hypothesis – 1:

    The presence of Baroque music will have an affect on the time taken to complete a problem-solving task in comparison to Mozart classical music. Hypothesis – 2: The presence of Renaissance music will have an affect on the time taken to complete a problem-solving task in comparison to Mozart classical music. Null Hypothesis – 1: The presence of Baroque music will have no affect on the time taken to complete a problem-solving task in comparison to Mozart classical music. Any slight variations in performance will be put down to chance.

    Null Hypothesis – 2: The presence of Renaissance music will have no affect on the time taken to complete a problem-solving task in comparison to Mozart classical music. Any slight variations in performance will be put down to chance. To test these hypotheses the Related T-test test was used to compare Baroque and Renaissance with Mozart’s classical music to see if there is a significant difference between them. The calculated value from the Related T-Test was 1. 291539956 for Baroque and 1. 640396499 for Renaissance. Baroque:

    For df = 11 and t = 1. 291539956 the probability that the result was due to chance was more than 10%. The result in the Baroque condition was therefore not significant. The null hypothesis must be accepted on this test, as the performance of the participants has not been affected by the Baroque music, in comparison to Mozart, at a significant level. Renaissance: For df = 11 and t = 1. 640396499 the probability that the result was due to chance was more than 10%. The result in the Renaissance condition was therefore not significant.

    The null hypothesis must be accepted on this test, as the performance of the participants has not been affected by the Renaissance music, in comparison to Mozart, at a significant level. Conclusion: The experiment has shown a difference in ability to problem solve under other historical pieces of music other than Mozart. The mean result showed that Baroque and Renaissance music have a detrimental affect when played instead of Mozart. However the results under Baroque and Renaissance are not significant which supports the null hypothesis and means that hypothesis 1 and 2 must be rejected. Discussion:

    The aim of this investigation was to see what effect variations of classical styled music has on the listener and whether it is strictly only Mozart that has the ability to produce improvements in problem solving related exercises. According to the mean the faster paced music like the Baroque and Renaissance showed to have a detrimental affect in comparison with the previously established aid of classical music, however the results were not a significant level so the variations in the mean had to be discarded. Despite the insignificance of the data the results did demonstrate an effect of the different music styles on the participants.

    The table shows that those listening to the Mozart classical music had a mean average of nearly 40 seconds music less then the other two styles of music. This was a surprising fact, as previous research did not suggest much of a difference, if any at all, between the different types of historical music. This study was not based on one solitary piece of previous research, but numerous connected studies. For this reason, the results cannot be directly evaluated with those of another study, although Mayfield and Moss (1989) can relate them to the study.

    Their study showed that fast music raised tension to participants while slow music could help to relax them, permitting them to solve problems quicker. Speaking to the participants after the test they mentioned that they noticeably felt at more ease with the classical music playing than the other two pieces. The results of the study that has been conducted contrasts those of Stough et al. (1994), who established that classical music did not alter the performance of an IQ test. An IQ test puts out questions that the participant could not know the answer to despite what music is played.

    However this study that has been conducted involved problems where the answers were always present, it simply took the type of thinking that is supported by being relaxed and not stressed, thus affecting how they coped with the problems. The water jug problem has its limitations because of its tricky underlying structure that is not like the structure of the towers of Hanoi. On the surface it might seem reasonable to set up some sort of mid-way sub goal, but it is hard to work out a series of moves that would isolate one litre of water. It is also hard because is it puts a load on working memory.

    It is true as argued by Polson that the capacity of working memory limits the amount of planning that can be accomplished. Because of all the considerations in working memory – human memory and lack of complete problem understanding, Polson argues that a solver works out a solution to such problems one step at a time. The strategy used for evaluating and selecting moves is based on means ends analysis and memory processes. A major drawback with this type of study is that a researcher can never be sure whether they are measuring the influence of the music or the purely the intelligence of the participant (whether the music had any impact).

    The only way to be certain was to use a group of participants that was known to be of similar intelligence and to make the design within. It was also crucial that any possible transfer effects are eliminated. Different problems can be shown to have the same underlying structure but different cover stories. Reed, Ernst and Banerji (1974) sought to discover whether skill acquired in performing one task could be transferred to an analogous task. It has been shown that experience with a problem can facilitate further attempts at solving the same problem again so long as they are under certain circumstances for analogous problems.

    Because of the number of people tested, the results differences were assumed to be very small consequently making examination hard. Conversely, the results confirmed varied sufficiently to notice tendencies. An additional limitation regarding the participants is the procedure to selection. The sample was very limited to the point where only two people were eliminated, whilst a more representative sample could possibly have obtained a wider range of results. The possibility of problems with availability of participants had also been a factor, as the experiment had to coincide with their working hours throughout the day.

    A more precise method of sampling should have been used as opposed to combining random with opportunity sampling, although a full turnout was obtained this is not as much of contemplation. Testing further assemblies of more people, would have enabled me to use additional ‘tests’ (anagrams, crosswords, maths questions) to examine whether it was indeed the music affecting performance, and not the complexity or nature of the task (Problem solving, English style questions, maths style questions etc. ).

    The set up, organization and administration of the experiment was extremely satisfying throughout although for the reason that the experiment was passed in an unnatural environment, ecological validity is also a limitation of the experiment. The unsurpassed way to solve this is to include the selected task, with the music required, into a normal school lesson as this corresponds to an ordinary environment for the participant. This experiment should have an effect on the way particularly students and any other people looking to improve their ability in mental skills or to improve their concentration.

    Nevertheless, the results of this experiment will be entirely unnoticed by anyone who feels devoted to one music category. The results, although not significant to a 10% level, still have implications when just using the mean to analyse the results. The mean results suggest that slower styles of music may possibly progress someone’s performance of a task, which could also include homework.

    Further research on other music types, different age groups and different tasks, could possibly determined what types of music affect what types of task etc., however not including this additional research the results cannot stand alone and be applied to these other areas. These results are further steps investigating the subject of music assisting performance.

    In order for the matter to become publicly aware, further research must be carried out. At hand are numerous directions to go with pursuing further studies, whether music is the focal point or not. A potential prospect experiment following on from this may perhaps be on social facilitation as a manipulative aspect to performance.

    The experiments could execute the same test whilst eliminating persuasive factors and comparing the results. For example, if a prize was part of the experiment it could be anticipated that the level of competition would go up; if the enforced time limit was taken away you may expect the pressure on participants to diminish, consequently giving a higher mean results. If the time limit was made lower, it might facilitate people to work harder at the problems, which may have caused a greater variation in the mean and the level of significance between the different music pieces.

    Instead the music aspect could be further investigated, attempting numerous diverse kinds of music (rap, dance, rock etc. ) and exploring further genres of music to give better results. Studying personal fondness of music of participants might too be fairly constructive. It’s also rational to commence altering sorts of task (maths, English etc. ) to be able to permit valid generalisation, with further though towards different age groups.


    Beentjes, J. W. J. , Cees, M. K. , & van der Voort, T. H. A. (1996). Combining background media with doing homework: Incidence of background media use and perceived effects. Communication Education, 45, 59-72. Boyle, G. J. (1983). Effects on academic learning of manipulating emotional states and motivational dynamics. British Journal of Educational Psychology, 53, 347-357. Cohen, J. D. , MacWhinney, B. , Flatt, M. , & Provost, J. (1993).

    PsyScope: A new graphic interactive environment for designing psychology experiments. Behavior Research Methods, Instruments, & Computers, 25, 257-271. Davidson, C. W. , & Powell, L. A. (1986). Effects of easy-listening background music on the on-task-performance of fifth-grade children. Journal of Educational Research, 80(1), 29-33.

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