A college student listening to music while reading

Music as an art has been described to tap on the intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual levels.

In fact, some psychologists, for instance Pythogras were reported to use music to treat psychological and physical illnesses.

The many benefits of music to the mind and body have been recorded in scholarly papers and researches.

However, a new study by psychologists has discovered that background music during work or study impairs creativity opposing an old theory that it increases imagination.

The researchers from the Lancaster University investigated on the performance by presenting verbal insight problems to participants with music playing on the background.

The test, for example, included showing participants three words, dress, dial and flower with instructions to find a single word that be merged to make a common phrase.

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For this instance, the word is sun to make sundress, sundial and sunflower.

The results indicated that the music on the background strikingly undermined participants ability to finish the task testing verbal creativity.

Nonetheless, the background noise in the library had no negative effect on one’s creativity because of the steady state environment.

“We found compelling evidence of negative performance when playing music compared to quite background, this is because music disrupts verbal working memory,” said Dr Neil McLatchie the led author of the study.

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The participants were exposed to background music with unfamiliar or foreign lyrics, music with familiar lyrics and instrumental music.

In the exposure to music with familiar lyrics, the music may have brought in positive mood but still impaired creativity.

“These findings challenges the popular belief that music enhances creativity. It has shown that music, regardless of the presence of no lyrics, familiar or unfamiliar lyrics disrupts creative performance in insight problem solving,” added Dr McLatchie.

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