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  • Take a look around your local library or Starbucks.

  • You'll notice that most students are plugging away at their studying with headphones on.

  • But is it actually beneficial to listen to music while you study?

  • In this video, we'll dive into the research and help you determine if studying with music

  • is a good idea for you.

  • What's going on guys, Dr. Jubbal, MedSchoolInsiders.com.

  • First, let's dispel some of the common myths you may have heard regarding music and studying,

  • starting with the Mozart Effect.

  • The Mozart Effect describes a brief 10-15 minute enhancement of spatial-temporal abilities

  • in college students after listening to a Mozart piano sonata.

  • More specifically, this improvement is restricted to a singular abstract mental rotation task,

  • but in the 90's this took hold as a scientific legend, with lay people convinced that listening

  • to Mozart was going to make their kids more intelligent.

  • And I remember that when I was in elementary school, several teachers would have us work for extended

  • periods while listening to classical music for precisely this reason.

  • This finding was initially found by Rauscher and colleagues in 1993, but attempts to replicate

  • these findings by other researchers have yielded mixed results.

  • Pietschnig and colleagues in 2010 performed a meta-analysis, meaning they systematically

  • analyzed dozens of studies on the Mozart effect to determine what the culmination of scientific

  • literature had to say on the subject.

  • Interestingly, they found that studies associated with certain labs, like the lab of Rauscher,

  • were much more likely to report favorable results.

  • Additionally, they demonstrated a confounding publication bias, therefore requiring a downward

  • correction of the reported effects.

  • So their conclusion?

  • On the whole, there is little evidence left for a specific, performance-enhancing

  • Mozart effect.”

  • It's safe to say that the Mozart effect does not improve the intelligence of children,

  • it does not improve academic achievement, and it does not even improve long term spatial skills.

  • To determine if and when you should listen to music while you study, we first need to

  • explore the relevant hypotheses.

  • There are a few hypotheses that hinge on arousal states and its effect on performance.

  • First, the arousal hypothesis states that music leads to an optimal level of arousal

  • in the brain, thus improving performance on cognitive tasks.

  • The mood hypothesis states that music you enjoy is more likely to put you in a positive

  • mood, which ultimately improves arousal states, and therefore enhances performance on spatial

  • tasks.

  • Lastly, the preference hypothesis states that listening to music you prefer improves

  • arousal, thus enhancing cognitive performance.

  • Others have suggested a rhythm theory, whereby the rhythm of music activates the cerebellum

  • and aids in spatial reasoning tasks.

  • However, none of these hypotheses are robust, each has significant deficiencies in explaining

  • the scientific findings.

  • Rather, we must take a more individualized approach to music and studying, as it appears

  • that three factors are key in determining whether music is beneficial while studying:

  • personality type, the type of work, and the type of music.

  • Christopher and colleagues in 2017 hypothesized that differences in attention and working

  • memory capacity would effect the degree to which music would influence performance.

  • They concluded that the higher an individual's working memory capacity, the less likely they

  • were to be affected by music, at least for reading comprehension.

  • Dobbs and colleagues in 2011 found that music had a detrimental effect in performance on

  • introverts, but less so for extraverts.

  • This aligns with Eysenck's theory of cortical arousal states, stating that extraverts are

  • under-stimulated and desire more stimulation, whereas introverts are already overstimulated

  • and therefore they avoid situations that further increase arousal.

  • Anderson and Fuller in 2010 found an interesting tie with metacognition and music.

  • Metacognition is essentially thinking about thinking, and includes the ability to regulate

  • one's own mental processes and activity.

  • Given the substantial evidence that music while studying is not optimal, they believe

  • that those who choose to may have a deficiency in metacognition.

  • They had students choose whether they wanted to study with music or silence, and they found

  • that those who preferred to listen to music while they studied did markedly worse on a

  • reading-comprehension assessment.

  • There has been substantial evidence that the type of work is a key factor in determining

  • whether or not music is appropriate.

  • When it comes to reading comprehension, most studies have demonstrated that music has detrimental

  • effects.

  • Only one study reported that reading comprehension performance was unaffected by music.

  • But when it comes to arithmetic, the results are quite mixed.

  • A handful of studies demonstrate no negative effect, while a handful of others demonstrate

  • a clear decline.

  • A few studies have demonstrated that vocal music is more distracting that instrumental music.

  • The theory is that with vocals, your brain is multitasking by processing the voices while you are trying to study.

  • Beyond that, there hasn't been any convincing evidence stating that a certain genre, like

  • classical music, is superior to any other type of music.

  • And now, the moment that you've all been waiting for - should you study with music or in silence?

  • As with most things in science, it depends.

  • My advice is as follows:

  • First, if you are going to study with music, be sure to choose music that lacks vocals.

  • Vocals are going to be distracting and ultimately much more likely to have a detrimental effect

  • on your studying.

  • Beyond that, choose music you enjoy.

  • Contrary to popular belief, there's no evidence that classical music is superior for studying.

  • Finding instrumental music you enjoy is going to be the most important factor.

  • I personally opt for Emancipator, Edamame, Blackmill, and several others.

  • I send out study music recommendations in my weekly newsletter.

  • If you're interested, sign up on the MedSchoolInsiders website.

  • Link is in the description below.

  • Second, experiment with different study scenarios.

  • Unfortunately, the scientific literature is far from conclusive, so self-experimentation

  • becomes very important.

  • Back in college, prior to reading any research about music and studying, I had quickly determined

  • from my own experience that listening to music while reading was on average more distracting

  • than reading in silence.

  • But when it came to cranking through chemistry or physics practice problems, music made the

  • experience more enjoyable.

  • You will likely find similar results, but try it out for yourself.

  • You'll notice that some types of work are more conducive to music than others.

  • I also learned that having a good study song on repeat helped me get in the zone and study

  • for longer periods of time without fatigue.

  • This is supported by the changing state hypothesis, which suggests rapidly changing music will

  • distract you from learning and ultimately decrease performance.

  • I would often have HR 8938 by Deadmau5 on repeat.

  • From examining the literature, it's clear that music won't make you magically perform

  • better or learn faster.

  • The question is finding which type of music is going to be the least distracting and least

  • detrimental.

  • Study after study has examined the effect of silence versus music while doing a variety

  • of cognitive tasks.

  • The issue, however, is that no study has examined the effects of music on prolonged study sessions.

  • From personal experience, I believe that music has helped me study for longer periods of

  • time.

  • I often start working in silence, and as I feel myself getting bored or my mind wandering,

  • I'll put on some instrumental music that I enjoy.

  • With this newfound burst in energy and positive vibes, I'm able to marathon with my studying

  • for much longer.

  • My suggestion to you is to try the sameuse music as a boost or a pick-me-up when your

  • momentum begins to drop.

  • I went through dozens of primary literature articles and condensed my findings in this

  • short video.

  • If you want to learn more about the process of how I researched, wrote, and created this

  • video, I have behind the scenes access on Patreon.

  • Your support goes a long way in helping me make these videos.

  • As a patron, you'll get commentary for each upload, where I go over additional insights

  • I couldn't fit in the YouTube video.

  • I also have a monthly Q&A exclusively for Patreon supporters, as well as live monthly video chats with yours

  • truly.

  • Thank you all so much for watching.

  • Do you like studying with music or in silence?

  • Let me know your favorite artists and songs below because I'm always looking for new music

  • recommendations.

  • If you liked the video, let me know with a thumbs up.

  • If you weren't a fan, I don't mind if you leave a thumbs down.

  • Hit subscribe and the notification bell so you don't miss any new uploads.

  • And I will see you guys in that next one.

Take a look around your local library or Starbucks.

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Should You Study with Music? | The Science-Backed Verdict

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    Summer posted on 2020/09/16
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