The Huron University College Journal of Learning and Motivation

Article Title

The Effects of Music on Memory for a Word List


Emily Konantz


Using 40 university students as participants, memory for a word list was tested using different conditions in which subjects had to listen to music or no music during study and test phases. Previous research has indicated that music can enhance mood and sports performance (Fassbender et al., 2012) and Mann (2008) found that sounds in an environment enhance learning. The context in which something is learned and encoded was found by Balch et al. (1992) to enhance memory if such conditions are repeated in the test phase. This led to the hypothesis that the condition in which no music was played during study or test would produce the best results. The results of the experiment did not reflect the hypothesis in that it only mattered if there was music playing during the study phase as it had a negative effect on encoding. Other reasons included small representation of the gross population and lack of control in the test environment as well as lack of reliability and validity.

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