Listening to classical music helps men concentrate, new study claims

musical notes

A new study has revealed that listening to classical music helps men concentrate while rock music can be a ‘distraction’.

Researchers at the Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music asked 352 visitors at the Imperial Festival to play the game Operation.

They had the choice of listening to Andante from Sonata for Two Pianos by Mozart, Thunderstruck by AC/DC, or the sound of an operating theatre as a soundtrack.

The results revealed that men who listened to AC/DC were slower and made more mistakes compared to those who listened to Mozart or the sound of an operating theatre. Thunderstruck triggered an average of 36 mistakes, while the sonata and operating theatre noises prompted 28.

According to the findings, women were not distracted by the rock music. None of the three tracks made any difference to their performance or speed although the research noted that women took longer to remove the body parts, but made fewer mistakes.

Dr Daisy Fancourt, lead author of the research from the Centre for Performance Science, said: ‘Although this study is clearly tongue-in-cheek, and was all performed in our spare time, it is part of our wider research into the effect of music on performance – particularly in a medical setting such as an operating theatre.

‘One of our areas of research is how we can boost performance in many different settings – from rowing in the Olympics, to a musical performance or delivering an important speech. This study suggests that for men who are operating or playing a board game, rock music may be a bad idea.’

The research was published in the Medical Journal of Australia.


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