Con: Does music help or hinder studying?

When you study without music, you are more likely to retain what you have studied.

In a study done at the University of Wales, they placed people in five different rooms with five different types of noise and recorded how they did on a test they had on the material studied.

One room was silent, one played music of the subjects’ choice, one played music the subject detested, one looped a single word to mimic a continuous background noise and the last room played a variety of words to simulate an environment with a conversation taking place.

The results showed similar test scores between the two music rooms and the conversation room. The biggest difference was seen comparing those rooms to the quiet room and the one with a word repeated continuously.

People listen to music while studying because they hope it will help them remember, concentrate or eliminate distractions around them. This seems as if it will work until we realize that lyrics are distracting.

When listening to music with lyrics, as many people do, it accesses the language processing centers of the brain, according to University of Phoenix. This makes studying even more difficult when you try to read for meaning.

The Mozart Effect is a theory that states when you listen to music without lyrics, like classical music, it will actually raise your overall intelligence. This is a myth and the original study showed an improvement in spatial intelligence of it’s subject, which helps more with realistic problems instead of test knowledge.

Classical music is just a more calming, less destructive noise to listen to while studying.

It comes down to the person asking his or herself if making study time feel shorter and more enjoyable justifies the decision to make studying less effective. If the answer is yes, then put your Beats back on in your corner of the library.

If your answer is no, you will be better off in a quiet and comfortable area to study where you can give your text its full, undivided attention.