Research

How does background music affect creativity? The answer will surprise you

In the process of learning, work or creativity, manypeople prefer to put on the background music. It is believed that it increases the productivity and creativity of a person, but a new study has shown that this assumption is incorrect. To prove this, psychologists from the University of Lancaster and other educational institutions have set up an experiment in which volunteers were given a task, for the solution of which it is necessary to show maximum creativity. Each group of people completed its mission under different conditions - the results were rather unexpected.

Three groups of volunteers were announceddifferent words, for example - dress, dial and flower. Participants were required to find an associative word (in this case, the “sun” fits perfectly) and combine it with the old words to get new words - sundress, sundial and sunflower. One group took up the task in complete silence, and the three groups were divided into different rooms with different music.

The researchers included three types of music:

  • Familiar with popular lyrics;
  • Unfamiliar with foreign words;
  • Instrumental, without words.

To everyone's surprise, all three groups of peoplecoped with the task much worse than volunteers from a quiet room. In the case of familiar music, people's creative abilities weakened depending on what mood the music conveyed and whether they liked it. Researchers believe that this result was due to the fact that music violates the verbal working memory.

It is noteworthy that the study also involvedpeople who performed the task in a noisy library. Their results were almost identical to those in a quiet room. Researchers believe that the noise did not prevent people due to the fact that this is a fairly stable state of the environment, which is no longer confusing.

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