Background Music (07-20-21)

Kiss and Linnell investigated how listening to the music that they prefer to hear as they work on a task that requires attention influences a person’s cognitive performance. The researchers share that while people “completed a variation of the Psychomotor Vigilance Task—that has long been used to measure sustained attention—in silence and with their self-selected or preferred music in the background. We collected subjective reports of attentional state (specifically mind-wandering, task-focus and external distraction states) as well as reaction time (RT) measures of performance. . . . In summary, the current study demonstrated that preferred background music enhanced task-focus on a low-demanding [simpler] sustained-attention task by decreasing mind-wandering. . . . Overall, these results provide evidence for a positive effect of background music on task-focused attention during an easy, low-demanding task.”

Luca Kiss and Karina Linnell.  2020.”The Effect of Preferred Background Music on Task-Focus in Sustained Attention.” Psychological Research,