John Coley


This study examined the effectiveness of music being a distracter while completing a novel spatial-temporal task. Sixty-four individuals participated in the experiment in which they assembled a jigsaw puzzle while being exposed to a randomly assigned audio stimulus: no music, soothing music, Mozart, or aggressive music. The primary hypothesis was that while listening to any music individuals would be distracted and thus take longer to complete the jigsaw puzzle than the control group. The secondary hypothesis was that the aggressive group would be the most distracted by the music and thus take the longest to complete the task. The results did not support the primary hypothesis, but did show a strong trend towards its confirmation. The second hypothesis was supported. This suggests that music heard while completing a novel spatial-temporal task hinders the ability to complete that task and the severity of hindrance is effected by the style of music heard. Future research in this area could study the effects of music on the ability to complete tasks of varying difficulty and examine the effects of stress.

Date Accepted


Publication Date


Subject Categories

Cognitive psychology


cognitive psychology, psychology

Degree Grantor

Northeastern University


Cognitive Psychology

Rights Holder

Ocean Dunton

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