Music makes life better in so many ways. It elevates mood, reduces stress, and eases pain. Music can even improve workout endurance and increase our enjoyment of challenging activities. But is listening to music the smart choice for students who want to optimize their learning?
— March 25th, 2020
Although a lot has been said, it truly depends on the person’s personality. A new study by Manuel Gonzalez of Baruch College and John Aiello of Rutgers University suggests that for some students, listening to music is indeed a wise strategy, but for others, it is not.
In other words, the effect of music on cognitive functioning appears not to be “one-size-fits-all.”
The data suggest that your decision to turn music on (or off) while studying should depend on your personality. For those with a high need for external stimulation, listening to music while learning is not wise, especially if the task is hard and/or the music is complex.
For those with a low need for external stimulation, however, listening to music is generally the optimal choice.
If you find the study to be interesting, you can read the complete results here.
This article is a re-post, with small modifications, of “Does Music Boost Your Cognitive Performance?” an article published on scientificamerican.com by Cindy May.