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  1. 10 Sep '09 05:39
    I saw this posted on another site I frequent. It maintained that if you listen to Classical while performing pretty muh any task, you concentration level increases and you're basically smarter as a result. Something about our brains recognizing the "complex patterns" woven into the songs of the "great composers."
    My opinion is---complex patterns my arse. It's your reaction to what you are listening to that should create that kind of increase in concentration. Why, the same be said for listening to The Beatles, Stones, Who, or any rock band. Or even {gasp} rap, if one is moved by such a sound.
  2. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Sep '09 10:16 / 1 edit
    There is a lot of mixed evidence about this. Here's something interesting about how some ideas (for which there is still mixed scientific evidence) diffuse into lay culture as fact.
    http://www.si.umich.edu/ICOS/Mozart%20Effect-final.pdf
  3. 10 Sep '09 15:23
    Originally posted by Palynka
    There is a lot of mixed evidence about this. Here's something interesting about how some ideas (for which there is still mixed scientific evidence) diffuse into lay culture as fact.
    http://www.si.umich.edu/ICOS/Mozart%20Effect-final.pdf
    the article mentions a 1993 report "Music and Spatial Task Performance" in which "college students who listened to a Mozart sonata for 10 minutes increased their performance on a subsequent spatial intelligence test by 8-9 IQ points in comparison to control conditions where they either listened to relaxation instructions or sat in silence for identical periods of time. This finding became known as Mozart Effect. These results inspired further research with mixed results. In 1999, a meta-analysis of 16 such studies came to the conclusion that the overall effect was negligible"

    the first thing is that the study should have also had a group listening to rock music or rap music -- perhaps the act of listening to ANY kind of music would have had a similar effect. Or maybe the act of sitting in silence doing nothing has a dulling effect.

    the second thing is that once more studies were done, and it was all combined together, the results were negligible. One problem with science is that there are tons of studies being done on everything imaginable. I would expect that random chance alone would produce some studies with significant results. If you do 100 studies, you would expect to see five with data falling within 95% confidence levels. And studies that produce "results" are then eagerly published and the media gets all excited and businesses offer new products. Until others seek to replicate the results and end up with bupkis and get totally ignored by the media.
  4. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Sep '09 15:33 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    the article mentions a 1993 report "Music and Spatial Task Performance" in which [i]"college students who listened to a Mozart sonata for 10 minutes increased their performance on a subsequent spatial intelligence test by 8-9 IQ points in comparison to control conditions where they either listened to relaxation instructions or sat in silence for identical seek to replicate the results and end up with bupkis and get totally ignored by the media.
    [/i]Don't get me wrong, I don't have a position here beyond cautious skepticism, with an open mind for future research. What the article doesn't say is that there are literally tons of studies out there. A quick Google Scholar search and you can find every result for every taste.

    For example, some used different types of music and Classical>Pop/Rock>Silence. Others didn't show anything, despite similar experiments. Psychology is not a hard science! Like I said before, there's a lot of mixed evidence. I think it's soon to reject or accept the hypothesis. So we should assume for practical purposes that it's not there and keep studying it to understand where these differences come from.

    Hopefully, more neurological based studies (i.e with brain scans, etc.) might help shed some light on this.
  5. 10 Sep '09 15:55 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by Palynka
    [/i]Don't get me wrong, I don't have a position here beyond cautious skepticism, with an open mind for future research. What the article doesn't say is that there are literally tons of studies out there. A quick Google Scholar search and you can find every result for every taste.

    For example, some used different types of music and Classical>Pop/Rock>Silen urological based studies (i.e with brain scans, etc.) might help shed some light on this.
    I agree completely. It can take many studies from many angles before you extract some truth out of what I call "probability blur". And any possible relationships between music and intelligence should definitely be explored. Even an increase or only 1-2 "IQ points" could have a measurable impact on the performance on many tasks.

    But I believe people (especially those in the media) need to become more aware of "probability blur" -- the fact that random events often form apparent "patterns" that can lead you astray - and that it can be extremely difficult to show that actual correlations exist, especially when those correlations are themselves small.
  6. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    10 Sep '09 16:25
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    I agree completely. It can take many studies from many angles before you extract some truth out of what I call "probability blur". And any possible relationships between music and intelligence should definitely be explored. Even an increase or only 1-2 "IQ points" could have a measurable impact on the performance on many tasks.

    But I believe people (es ...[text shortened]... that actual correlations exist, especially when those correlations are themselves small.
    Yep. Well said.
  7. Standard member uzless
    The So Fist
    10 Sep '09 21:02
    Originally posted by PinkFloyd
    I saw this posted on another site I frequent. It maintained that if you listen to Classical while performing pretty muh any task, you concentration level increases and you're basically smarter as a result. Something about our brains recognizing the "complex patterns" woven into the songs of the "great composers."
    My opinion is---complex patterns my ar ...[text shortened]... tles, Stones, Who, or any rock band. Or even {gasp} rap, if one is moved by such a sound.
    This is a classic misunderstanding.

    Classical music does not makes a person smarter per se. What it does is FOCUS some people who have higher mental capacity than your average person.

    Some smart people just need to be focused in order to perform better. Classical music will help these people. Classical music will not help dumb people get smarter.
  8. 10 Sep '09 22:06
    Originally posted by uzless
    This is a classic misunderstanding.

    Classical music does not makes a person smarter per se. What it does is FOCUS some people who have higher mental capacity than your average person.

    Some smart people just need to be focused in order to perform better. Classical music will help these people. Classical music will not help dumb people get smarter.
    I agree -- that's what the studies in question were measuring -- does listening to Mozart make you perform better on an IQ test given immediately afterwards? There have been "mixed results" so far and I believe this is a plausible topic for further study.

    But the hype surrounding these studies did spawn a whole industry of silly "Mozart Effect" products for fetuses and infants that were supposed to make them innately smarter. The main point in the pdf was examining how and why such silliness arises.
  9. 12 Sep '09 23:08
    Originally posted by Melanerpes
    I agree -- that's what the studies in question were measuring -- does listening to Mozart make you perform better on an IQ test given immediately afterwards? There have been "mixed results" so far and I believe this is a plausible topic for further study.

    But the hype surrounding these studies did spawn a whole industry of silly "Mozart Effect" product ...[text shortened]... nnately smarter. The main point in the pdf was examining how and why such silliness arises.
    Not silly at all. The studies are not mixed results-wise. What happens is that the increase in IQ is transitory at best and not all classical music produces the same effect. Only Bach keyboard music has a demonstrable IQ bump.
  10. 19 Sep '09 06:51
    My two cents:

    I haven't read these studies in question. However, I personally think the results would have more to do with inducing alpha brain-wave activity. Relaxing music can do that for many people, and being in a relaxed state with lots of alpha going on HAS been shown to increase memory and learning potential.

    I also think you can't overlook the possibility that more intelligent people simply prefer Classical music.
  11. 20 Sep '09 15:43
    Originally posted by shiloh
    My two cents:

    I haven't read these studies in question. However, I personally think the results would have more to do with inducing alpha brain-wave activity. Relaxing music can do that for many people, and being in a relaxed state with lots of alpha going on HAS been shown to increase memory and learning potential.

    I also think you can't overlook the possibility that more intelligent people simply prefer Classical music.
    One small problem. Classical music is anything but relaxing although at times it might do so. No study can be conducted without first establsihing a baseline to depart from. Therefore, study subject selection has to include a variety of subjects, not just classic music lovers. The studies alluded to are conducted in a manner to eliminate such bias. Bach keyboard music worked better than any other music. Go figure.
  12. Subscriber AttilaTheHorn
    Erro Ergo Sum
    20 Sep '09 21:52
    Originally posted by scacchipazzo
    One small problem. Classical music is anything but relaxing although at times it might do so. No study can be conducted without first establsihing a baseline to depart from. Therefore, study subject selection has to include a variety of subjects, not just classic music lovers. The studies alluded to are conducted in a manner to eliminate such bias. Bach keyboard music worked better than any other music. Go figure.
    I agree. Classical music (which really only comprises about 75 years of music history, from about 1750-1825, - but let us not quibble about that here), is anything but relaxing. I always tell people that if you find it relaxing, then you're not paying attention.
  13. 21 Sep '09 00:20 / 2 edits
    Originally posted by AttilaTheHorn
    I agree. Classical music (which really only comprises about 75 years of music history, from about 1750-1825, - but let us not quibble about that here), is anything but relaxing. I always tell people that if you find it relaxing, then you're not paying attention.
    I used to have a dear, dear friend who wouldd drive me nuts saying "that's so relaxing!" when we would go out to lunch and I'd op a CD in the player. It was always a late Beethoven piano sonata! Regrettably, neither Bach, Beethoven nor anyone else's keyboard music increased my IQ one miserable little bit! Transitory increase? Perhaps to transitory for me!
  14. 21 Sep '09 06:42 / 1 edit
    I don't think listening is enough.

    I think you have to play classical (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, et. al.) to increase in IQ. It doesn't matter how well you play, but playing can get some parts of the brain going in youngsters like nothing else can.
  15. Standard member Palynka
    Upward Spiral
    21 Sep '09 09:42
    Originally posted by Badwater
    I don't think listening is enough.

    I think you have to play classical (Renaissance, Baroque, Classical, Romantic, Impressionist, et. al.) to increase in IQ. It doesn't matter how well you play, but playing can get some parts of the brain going in youngsters like nothing else can.
    Good education can.