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Can the “Mozart Effect” enhance students' cognitive abilities by simply listening?
For many years, scientists have debated the purported performance-enhancing effects of listening to classical music. University of Vienna researchers Jakob Pietschnig, Martin Voracek and Anton K. Formann present quite precise results on this so-called "Mozart effect".
In 1993, in the journal Nature, psychologist Frances H. Rauscher of the University of California and her collaborators reported the results of improved performance among college students after listening to Mozart's music. In particular, Mozart's sonata of 1781 for two pianos in D major (KV 448) would have enhanced the cognitive abilities of students through simple listening.

Scientific articles rarely attract public attention and enthusiasm, but in the case of Rauscher's publication the great New York Times wrote that listening to Mozart would give college students an edge in the Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT). In addition, other commentators have welcomed Mozart's music as a magic wand capable of increasing children's intelligence.
Perhaps because of all this hype, then Georgia Governor Zell Miller, in 1998, issued a bill to ensure that every mom of a newborn received a free classical music CD. In the same year, the Florida government passed a law requiring state-funded daycare centers to play at least one hour of classical music a day.
In the scientific community, however, Rauscher's discovery was met with skepticism, as it was surprisingly difficult to replicate and confirm.

A myth to dispel
University of Vienna psychologists Jakob Pietschnig, Martin Voracek and Anton K. Formann recently documented, in the American magazine Intelligence, the results of their meta-analysis of the "Mozart effect".
Their study collects and summarizes the entire scientific documentation on the subject. About 40 published independent studies and a series of unpublished academic theses from the United States and elsewhere were recovered for this systematic investigation, totaling more than 3,000 papers.
Unfortunately, the result of the researchers of the University of Vienna is clear: on the basis of the accumulated evidence, there is no support that can confirm the advantages or an improvement in spatial capabilities, or in the ability to perceive, act and operate, specifically due to listening. of Mozart's music.
I recommend listening to Mozart to everyone, but it won't meet the expectations of cognitive enhancement“, Says Jakob Pietschnig, author of the study. "It has not been possible to confirm a specific "Mozart effect", as suggested by Rauscher's 1993 publication in Nature". The meta-analysis of the University of Vienna classifies the "Mozart effect" as a legend, according to Emory University psychologist Scott E. Lilienfeld, who in his recent book "50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology"Has classified the" Mozart effect "a myth of popular psychology.

Highlighted

50 Great Myths of Popular Psychology: Shattering Widespread Misconceptions about Human Behavior is a 2009 book written by psychologists Scott O. Lilienfeld, Steven Jay Lynn, John Ruscio, and Barry Beyerstein, and published by the Wiley-Blackwell publishing house.
The book serves as an educational guide to critical thinking about psychology. Inside there are 11 chapters that classify 50 subtopics of psychology. This book discusses a number of the most widely held and believed myths in folk psychology - a type of psychology that is not based on scientifically proven facts, but well known to the general public - and helps people learn how to identify false claims.

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Source: sciencedaily.com

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