20 Apr 2023

In tune with research

From Mozart to Metallica, it’s never been easier to have your favourite music on demand. Studies have shown how listening to music can release a range of chemicals in the brain which differ according to the style of the sounds and whether we’re listening alone or with other people.

An article in the journal Nature has revealed how researchers use music to improve their work and how it can affect an individual’s performance. It brings together the view of experts on how to get the most of out of your listening, including studies carried out by pianist and organisational psychologist Andrea Caputo into how music affected workers’ job satisfaction and performance.

But music doesn’t also increase performance and some tunes can actually have the opposite effect. Complex songs in minor keys have been shown to raise levels of stress hormones, which can lead to negative emotions that can also affect attention and performance.

Studies have also found that during complex tasks that need a lot of thought, listening to any type of music can have a negative impact. And enforcing your music taste on workforce around you by not using headphones can also have a detrimental effect on those who might react differently to your preferences.

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