The effect of background music on cognitive task performance amongst students: a systematic review
Category: Social Science
Abstract – With the rise of music streaming services and the advent of multitasking, students have turned to music to assist them while performing schoolwork. This paper analyzes the variety of research that has been conducted to see how background music affects students of all ages as they perform demanding cognitive tasks. In particular, the relationship between music and arousal, working memory capacity, and overall distraction is analyzed with inconsistent results across various tasks and types of music. Reading comprehension is adversely affected by most types of music while memory tasks, cognitive disruption tasks, and other spatial, verbal, and logical tests seem to largely benefit from the presence of music, though only about half of results show a positive correlation between music and test performance. Music does enhance speed of completion and mood for some tasks. However, a significant number of studies show that music has no effect on cognitive performance, especially classical music. Overall, more research is needed on how music affects neurocognitive resources in specific regions of the brain.