The Mozart Effect Successfully Replicated

From a study by Rideout BE, and Taylor J:

Previous research has demonstrated that 10 min. exposure to classical music can influence performance on a spatial task. The effect, however, has not been robust, suggesting a sensitivity to individual differences and task operationalization. The present study involved a further replication of this effect. 16 female and 16 male undergraduates completed two equivalent spatial tests, one following a control procedure and one following the presentation of Mozart’s Sonata for two pianos in D major (K. 448). Performance showed a small but significant improvement immediately following presentation of the music [emphasis added].

Here’s the Mozart sonata in question:

This is the first successful replication reported of the Mozart Effect. I know a lot of you are saying, “But unless I take an origami class or spend my life prying apart my Rubik’s cube and reassembling it, I really don’t need an improvement in paper-folding or rotating objects skills.” In the first place, I challenge you to reorganize your kitchen cabinets or tool chest or sewing bin without object rotation skills–it can’t be done. More importantly, these skills are related to visualization, and that has an impact on one of the most important skills we use every day–one where we take our own and others’ lives into our hands–driving. Spatio-temporal skills are all about imaginary scenarios and what the world would look like if X becomes true. So in addition to calming your stress and improving your mood on the commute (don’t forget waking up the brain and coordinating the EEG waves better), turning your car radio to the classical station might just save your life, your passengers’ lives, or the lives of the people in the car you didn’t see coming.

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