Talk:Music psychology

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"Music Psychology" and "Music Cognition"[edit]

Shouldn't these two articles be integrated into one single article? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:54, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Regarding source[edit]

Majority of article copied from however it would appear that the original author also created this article. I would think permission granted by default. --Brad101 22:59, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Ready to be evaluated for a rating[edit]

I have an email in to the professor, asking if he could stop by and give us his stamp of approval regarding the way I have wikified the article. I added categories and sub-categories to bring a sense of movement forward and to enhance readability

As for him citing any other authorities, it won't be needed given his impressive cv, his education, his publications and his research. He is a quotable citable expert. --A green Kiwi in learning mode 10:08, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

How to Add Outside Links[edit]

Still need to add ACTUAL LINKS to each universities department of Music Psychology -- work needed here - Music_psychology#Educational_Centers
Go here - Go down to the bottom to "Centers". Hover your mouse over each link, Right click, Select "Copy Shortcut" ... then bring to edit page above - find proper prepared link - and Paste. All done.
I have already done most of them - USA, Australia, Canada, Britain and a few here in there. To empasize, these links cannot be internal "wiki links" but instead, just as they are on Dr. Parncutt's page. --A green Kiwi in learning mode 10:56, 24 October 2006 (UTC)

Davidson edits (2012)[edit]

Adding a section on background music. Greta Munger (talk) 17:41, 31 October 2012 (UTC)

Yep, I'll add:

Background music[edit]

The study of background music focuses on the impact of music with non-musical tasks, including changes in behavior in the presence of different types, settings, or styles of music.[1] In laboratory settings, music can affect performance on cognitive tasks (memory, attention, and comprehension), both positively and negatively. Used extensively as an advertising aid, music may also affect marketing strategies, ad comprehension, and consumer choices.

Effects on cognitive performance[edit]

Background music can influence learning,[2][3][4][5] working memory and recall[6][7], performance while working on tests[8][9], and attention on cognitive monitoring tasks.[10][11]

Tasks music improves[edit]

Participants who memorized foreign language words while listening to Baroque music recalled an average of 8.7% more words than those who did not listen to music. The effect of music was stronger for less common words, and there was no effect of music on recall a week later.[2]

The Mozart effect occurs when performance on cognitive tasks requiring spatial manipulations (such as a mental rotation task) improves after listening to fifteen minutes of Mozart.[12][5] In a typical mental rotation task, participants see two 3D shapes drawn on paper, and then decide if they are different views of the same shape or different shapes. This comparison often requires mental rotation of the object. The Mozart effect is inconsistent when tested with musicians and non-musicians. Only non-musicians showed any improvement when given the mental rotation task before and after listening to Mozart.[5] Musicians tend to process music using both brain hemispheres, whereas non-musicians use mostly their right hemisphere. Listening to Mozart increased arousal in the right hemisphere (active during mental rotation), and non-musicians may have performed better due to more right hemisphere activity.[5]

Digit detection tasks require participants to monitor a stream of letters for two randomly placed digits, and attentional blink (the inability to detect the second visual target) may occur after the first digit is detected.[10] When accompanied by task-irrelevant mental activity, performance can actually improve on attentionally-demanding visual search tasks. Detection rates of the second digit were significantly higher when accompanied by music.[10] This suggests that background music may facilitate increased arousal or increased positive affective state, leading to better attention. It is also possible that the music induces a more diffuse distribution of attention, so that participants can attend over a broader search that includes the second digit.[10]

A similar phenomenon, inattentional blindness, refers to the tendency to miss a novel stimulus when attending to other stimuli.[11] As a laboratory task, participants are instructed to attend to moving visual stimuli on a computer monitor while an “A” of a different color moves across the screen.[11] A simple auditory task required participants to listen for an occasional embedded tone amidst background music, and this attenuated the blindness to the “A." Participants were able to perform both tasks simultaneously at a higher rate than the visual monitoring alone, and engaged in fewer task-unrelated thoughts, suggesting that not all increases in task demand are equal. Music may fill a special role that leads to increased arousal without affecting concurrent task performance.[11]

Tasks music impairs[edit]

Though increased arousal from music listening may improve cognitive performance (possibly the process through which the Mozart effect occurs),[1] the irrelevant sound effect (or irrelevant speech effect)[4] can also occur. When two concurrent sources of information compete must be processed, the sources interfere with each other. In serial recall tasks participants must recall (in the correct order) lists of digits or words. Music with a high degree of acoustical variation tends to inhibit performance on serial recall tasks by drawing on cognitive resources.[4]

When performing digit span tasks in the presence of music, participants must recall a string of digits of increasing length. Those completing the tasks in silence performed significantly better than those listening to music (it did not matter if the music was liked or disliked).[4]

Mixed effects and moderating factors[edit]

In a verbal learning test that consisted of words and non-words, background music had no significant impact on test performance.[3] Participants studied with original excerpts in which tempo and consonance (in or out of tune) were manipulated, nondescript noise, and silence. While test performance did not differ across these conditions, stronger EEG readings were registered with consonant and fast music.[3] This suggests music may draw more cognitive resources, though increased cortical activation compensates to preserve task performance.[1]

Musical variations[edit]

The nature of the background music, either vocal or instrumental, and the perceived correctness of the music can change its effect on cognitive performance.

Working memory, and more specifically the phonological loop (memory process through which auditory information is rehearsed and stored for short-term recall), plays an integral role in processing digit span tasks.[6] In the presence of either vocal music or irrelevant speech, performance appears to suffer similarly with both, whereas listening to instrumental renderings of the same songs (or working in silence) tends to lead to better performance.[6]

The presence of lyrics differentially affects performance depending on the nature of the task. Performance on verbal tests (reading comprehension) tends to improve with silence versus either vocal or instrumental music. On the other hand, math test performance is higher with vocal music than with instrumental. Logic performance (understanding flow charts or diagrams) is higher with either vocal or instrumental versus silence.[9] If music leads to a more aroused state, it appears to only improve performance when the music does not directly interfere with the task (e.g., lyrics interfere with verbal processing).[9]

Expert musicians and non-musicians listened to either music played correctly, played with errors, or silence while performing a language-based task (evaluating grammar in given sentences).[8] Both musicians and non-musicians performed worse while listening to incorrectly played music versus silence, but only musicians performed significantly worse in the presence of incorrect music versus correct music. With a visuo-spatial search task (locating differences between nearly identical images filled with geometric patterns and color), neither group was affected by the music conditions.[8] Musicians were more attentive to the errors in the music, and their performance suffered more. Though music can be arousing and lead to higher cognitive performance, it can also be distracting.[8]


The Cortical Arousal Theory suggests that background music may differentially impact cognitive performance based on certain personality traits.[7] Both introverts and extraverts tend to perform higher on immediate recall (recalling ideas from a story just read), delayed recall, and Stroop tasks in silence versus popular lyrical music.[7] Introvert's performance suffered more than extravert's with highly arousing music, suggesting internal arousal through music can differentially affect cognitive performance.

Music in marketing[edit]

In both radio and television advertisements, music plays an integral role in content recall,[13][14][15] intentions to buy the product, and attitudes toward the advertisement and brand itself.[16][17][18] Music’s effect on marketing has been studied in radio ads,[15][17][18] TV ads,[13][14][16] and physical retail settings.[19][20]

One of the most important aspects of an advertisement’s music is the “musical fit," or the degree of congruity between cues in the ad and song content.[21] Advertisements and music can be congruous or incongruous for both lyrical and instrumental music. The timbre, tempo, lyrics, genre, mood, as well as any positive or negative associations elicited by certain music should ‘’fit’’ the nature of the advertisement and product.[21]

Product involvement refers to the degree of personal relevance and perceived purchase risk regarding a given product, while advertising involvement refers to the amount of attention directed toward the advertisement and its content.[21] Both types can be more cognitively (content-focused) or affectively (emotion-focused) oriented, changing the way in which background music interacts with advertisement viewing or listening.


When viewing 30-second TV ads containing background classical music, recall was tested for brand name and message content.[13] Participants viewed an original commercial (for a fictional brand of soap) embedded in an episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos. The same commercial was paired with either familiar or unfamiliar classical music of a slow or fast tempo. Results revealed an inverted-U relationship between tempo and recall (faster tempo correlated with higher recall to a certain point, then recall began to suffer). This was only found when the ad contained familiar music, suggesting that familiarity mediates advertisement involvement.[13] This supports a resource-matching hypothesis: message processing is maximized when the cognitive resources demanded match those available. As music speed increases, information density in the ad increases. As long as cognitive resources are not exceeded, ad processing more equally matches an increased state of arousal through the music.[13]

In real radio commercials, data reveal a different relationship when the whole stimulus is auditory.[15] Though a better match (higher congruity) between musical timbre and ad message led to higher recall, both slow and fast background music reduced content recall, with slower music leading to significantly lower performance than fast music.[15]

Background music can act as a peripheral persuasion cue, evoking emotional responses and positive attitudes toward both the advertisement and the brand. These emotional responses can also interfere with recall.[14] Women were shown a TV commercial for a fictional brand of hair shampoo, and assigned either to a "cognitively involved" group (instructed to pay attention to the specifics of product quality and ratings), an "affectively involved" group (instructed to watch for the product’s unique personality).[14] Popular music played in the background and facilitated recall only in the affective involvement group; it had a distracting effect with cognitive involvement.[14] This suggests a differential effect of background music in commercials based on product involvement and types of processing.

Intentions and attitudes[edit]

Attention paid to the ad and brand, attitudes toward each, and purchase intentions were measured in response to fictional TV commercials that contained either culturally appropriate or inappropriate music.[16] Congruent product-music commercials (e.g., Asian music paired with Asian product) elicited significantly more favorable attitudes toward the product.[16]

Radio commercials, when paired with congruent music (rated in another experiment as fitting the product being advertised), show similar trends.[18] Interestingly, congruent music elicits more positive attitudes toward the advertisement and brand in "high-cognition" ads (e.g., focuses on Rolex specifications) than in "low-cognition" ass (e.g., focuses on feelings accompanying a Rolex).[18] The musical fit differentially affected ad impact based on the type of commercial.

When background music fits radio ad content, but varies on tempo, style, and rhythm, participants formed different impressions of the brand and its endorser. With a slow piano ballad, for example, participants perceived the endorser as more diligent and orderly than when he endorsed a product with rock music. Even given these different impressions, participants did not significantly change their general evaluation of the product.[17] In all conditions there was a high degree of musical fit, but perceptions of brand and endorser can change separate from views toward the ad.[17]

Retail environment[edit]

In a survey of shoppers at a suburban mall, both hedonic (pleasure) and utilitarian evaluations of a given shopping experience differed based on an interaction between retail density and the tempo of music playing in the mall.[19] Retail density (number of shoppers) was determined by the time of day and day of the week, while slow and fast music were played. A shopping experience can influence browsing behaviors and evaluations were highest with slow music and high density or fast music and low density.[19] This random survey lends support to a "schema incongruity theory" stating that more elaborate information processing occurs under mildly incongruous conditions. The incongruity between density and music tempo seems to create that condition.[19]

When participants viewed videos of interactions between a sales clerk and a shopper, slow and soothing music led to more negative evaluations toward the store and salesperson, if the sales pitch was weaker.[20] The type of music affected cognitive processing (slow music allowed for greater resources to be used in evaluating the sales pitch). Thus participants viewed a weaker sales pitch more critically, except when faster music drew more resources.[20] Musical fit also applies to retail situations. Regardless of the type of music, however, it needs to at least match the store environment and product to garner positive reactions.[20]

Edits for background music[edit]

I’m not sure what the last sentence in your first paragraph under “learning and recall” really means. I see you’re trying to tie up the findings of the two studies, but maybe you could reword that last sentence. In the Mozart paragraph, capitalize the first letter of “Musicians” because you had just started a new sentence. Can you explain what phonological loop is? (Under music variations) I think the last sentence under “personality” has a typo. The word “though” in that sentence throws me off for some reason. Maybe reword that sentence. I could be really wrong about this, but I would appreciate it if you provided a really brief explanation of the words that you linked to another Wikipedia page. It’s great that you provided the link, but the sentence would be easier for readers to read if there was a really brief definition of the word. (I’m referring specifically to “attentional blink” here) I really like the second paragraph of “music and attention.” At the end of your second paragraph in “marketing” you wrote (Kellaris). Is that the author’s name? Probably take that out. Under recall, you say that the tempo of the background music affected the recall performance with familiar music. Did the familiar music help with recall? Can you explain what “rand utilitarian” is (under retail environment). Overall I think this is a great article! Great job alex! Lindy.williams (talk) 21:15, 9 November 2012 (UTC)Lindy.williams

I love the introduction. It sets up the whole section. The sentence after cognitive performance is a little confusing. It might be the citations. Maybe it would be better to put the citations at the end of the sentence. Inserting more embedded links for words like EEG, working memory, phonological loop, and the Cortical Arousal Theory. Learning and recall Starting off with a broad opening sentence about the findings/conclusions of this section could make the transition a little smoother. The descriptions of the methods of studies are very clear. There is a typo in the second line of the second paragraph of this section. The last point of this section is very clear and I feel like it is also very relevant to real-life situations. It might be worthwhile to elaborate on the method and empirical data. Musical variations In the findings described in this section, is it the type of music that determines the differences in performance? Is what is meant by “variations”? Also, what is “grammar checking on sentences”? Personality Embedded links for “introverts” and “extroverts.” This section is very clear. In marketing I love this section. It is very informative. The heading should be high Overall: Great addition! I suggest adding more embedded links. You have enough references. It is surprising that all the information prior to your additions have no references! C’mon people ☺

KatieRamseur (talk) 01:57, 10 November 2012 (UTC)


This page needs an overhaul. Should begin with a history section, followed by the various fields of study (with the arbitrary focus on Background Music lessened) and built around or absorbing the Music Cognition, Cognitive Neuroscience of Music, and Music and emotion pages. The mess of resources and links at the bottom should be cleaned up too. The Sports psychology page is a good model, especially how it fits in with the psychology portal in general. Lots to do. Anyone willing to help me tackle this?

geordie (talk) 22:45, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Removing "Books" section of resources until proper "further reading" or complete list can be compiled. original text is here:

Famous books on music psychology include The Musical Mind by John A. Sloboda; Cognitive Structures of Musical Pitch by Carol L. Krumhansl; The Psychology of Music edited by Diana Deutsch; Music, Thought and Feeling by William Forde Thompson; and Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks. Leading book publishers in the area of music psychology include Oxford University Press's Music Psychology books and MIT Press's Music Psychology books.
geordie (talk) 13:45, 6 April 2014 (UTC)

Update "Music cognition" has been merged and redirected into this page, and "Perception and production of music" into Cognitive neuroscience of music. The massive section on Background music has been migrated to a pre-existing stub page. The "Music cognition and biomusicology" template has been renamed Template:Music psychology and is being used to shepherd the various existing pages into some kind of group. Currently working on renaming/sorting Category:Music cognition and its contents along the same lines. A history section has been added, general structure of methodological and applied areas established, some content expanded, and resources and centres properly listed and linked. Music psychology has also been added to the general Psychology sidebar.

Main tasks that remain to be done include:

  • Expanding list of applied research areas with subheadings and content (and if necessary, new pages) for each area. Existing pages (listed in the music psych template) should be incorporated with a brief summary and linked to.
  • Expanding list of research centres. This should probably end up as its own page, which could include research focuses, directors/heads, degrees offered, etc.
  • Expanding history. Mine is quite basic and could be much more nuanced.
  • Adding section on Degrees/Certification
  • Criticism section? Possibly on generalizability/ecological validity/reductiveness of studies?

Please feel free to jump in, especially in adding summaries of applied areas (e.g. music performance anxiety) and other research centres.

geordie (talk) 00:13, 23 April 2014 (UTC)

  1. ^ a b c Kampfe, J.; Sedlmeier, P.; Renkewitz, F. (8 November 2010). "The impact of background music on adult listeners: A meta-analysis". Psychology of Music. 39 (4): 424–448. doi:doi=10.1177/0305735610376261 Check |doi= value (help).  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  2. ^ a b de Groot, Annette M. B. (1 September 2006). "Effects of Stimulus Characteristics and Background Music on Foreign Language Vocabulary Learning and Forgetting". Language Learning. 56 (3): 463–506. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9922.2006.00374.x. 
  3. ^ a b c Jäncke, Lutz; Sandmann, Pascale (1 January 2010). "Music listening while you learn: No influence of background music on verbal learning". Behavioral and Brain Functions. 6 (1): 3. doi:10.1186/1744-9081-6-3.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  4. ^ a b c d Perham, Nick; Vizard, Joanne (1 July 2011). "Can preference for background music mediate the irrelevant sound effect?". Applied Cognitive Psychology. 25 (4): 625–631. doi:10.1002/acp.1731.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  5. ^ a b c d Aheadi, A.; Dixon, P.; Glover, S. (21 July 2009). "A limiting feature of the Mozart effect: listening enhances mental rotation abilities in non-musicians but not musicians". Psychology of Music. 38 (1): 107–117. doi:10.1177/0305735609336057.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  6. ^ a b c Alley, Thomas R.; Greene, Marcie E. (16 October 2008). "The Relative and Perceived Impact of Irrelevant Speech, Vocal Music and Non-vocal Music on Working Memory". Current Psychology. 27 (4): 277–289. doi:10.1007/s12144-008-9040-z.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  7. ^ a b c Cassidy, G.; MacDonald, R. A.R. (1 July 2007). "The effect of background music and background noise on the task performance of introverts and extraverts". Psychology of Music. 35 (3): 517–537. doi:10.1177/0305735607076444.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  8. ^ a b c d Patston, Lucy L. M.; Tippett, Lynette J. (1 December 2011). "The Effect of Background Music on Cognitive Performance in Musicians and Nonmusicians". Music Perception: An Interdisciplinary Journal. 29 (2): 173–183. doi:10.1525/mp.2011.29.2.173.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  9. ^ a b c Avila, C.; Furnham, A.; McClelland, A. (9 November 2011). "The influence of distracting familiar vocal music on cognitive performance of introverts and extraverts". Psychology of Music. 40 (1): 84–93. doi:10.1177/0305735611422672.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  10. ^ a b c d Olivers, Christian N.L.; Nieuwenhuis, Sander (1 April 2005). "The Beneficial Effect of Concurrent Task-Irrelevant Mental Activity on Temporal Attention". Psychological Science. 16 (4): 265–269. doi:10.1111/j.0956-7976.2005.01526.x.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  11. ^ a b c d Beanland, Vanessa; Allen, Rosemary A.; Pammer, Kristen (1 December 2011). "Attending to music decreases inattentional blindness". Consciousness and Cognition. 20 (4): 1282–1292. doi:10.1016/j.concog.2011.04.009.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  12. ^ Rauscher, Frances H.; Shaw, Gordon L.; Ky, Catherine N. (14 October 1993). "Music and spatial task performance". Nature. 365 (6447): 611–611. doi:10.1038/365611a0.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  13. ^ a b c d e Hahn, Minhi; Hwang, Insuk (1 December 1999). "Effects of tempo and familiarity of background music on message processing in TV advertising: A resource-matching perspective". Psychology and Marketing. 16 (8): 659–675. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1520-6793(199912)16:8<659::AID-MAR3>3.0.CO;2-S.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  14. ^ a b c d e Park, C. Whan; Young, S. Mark (1 February 1986). "Consumer Response to Television Commercials: The Impact of Involvement and Background Music on Brand Attitude Formation". Journal of Marketing Research. 23 (1): 11. doi:10.2307/3151772.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  15. ^ a b c d Oakes, Steve; North, Adrian C. (1 May 2006). "The impact of background musical tempo and timbre congruity upon ad content recall and affective response". Applied Cognitive Psychology. 20 (4): 505–520. doi:10.1002/acp.1199.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  16. ^ a b c d Lalwani, Ashok K.; Lwin, May O.; Ling, Pee Beng (14 April 2009). "Does Audiovisual Congruency in Advertisements Increase Persuasion? The Role of Cultural Music and Products". Journal of Global Marketing. 22 (2): 139–153. doi:10.1080/08911760902765973.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  17. ^ a b c d Zander, M. F. (1 October 2006). "Musical influences in advertising: how music modifies first impressions of product endorsers and brands". Psychology of Music. 34 (4): 465–480. doi:10.1177/0305735606067158. 
  18. ^ a b c d Lavack, Anne M.; Thakor, Mrugank V.; Bottausci, Ingrid (1 January 2008). "Music-brand congruency in highand low-cognition radio advertising". International Journal of Advertising. 27 (4): 549. doi:10.2501/S0265048708080141.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  19. ^ a b c d Eroglu, Sevgin A.; Machleit, Karen A.; Chebat, Jean-Charles (1 July 2005). "The interaction of retail density and music tempo: Effects on shopper responses". Psychology and Marketing. 22 (7): 577–589. doi:10.1002/mar.20074.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  20. ^ a b c d Chebat, Jean-Charles; Chebat, Claire Gélinas; Vaillant, Dominique (1 November 2001). "Environmental background music and in-store selling". Journal of Business Research. 54 (2): 115–123. doi:10.1016/S0148-2963(99)00089-2.  Cite uses deprecated parameter |coauthors= (help)
  21. ^ a b c OAKES, STEVE (1 January 2007). "Evaluating Empirical Research into Music in Advertising: A Congruity Perspective". Journal of Advertising Research. 47 (1): 38. doi:10.2501/S0021849907070055.