Women’s concentration ‘less disrupted by music’

The BBC is reporting that women are less likely to have their concentration disrupted by listening to music, says a study examining whether music impairs or enhances the ability to focus on a task.

The study, from Imperial College and the Royal College of Music, played music into headphones while people tried to play the Operation board game.

The research teams have been examining how music can alter performance.

Families might have arguments about whether teenagers should be listening to music when studying.

Women’s ability to concentrate on the task did not seem to be affected by either types of music or the sound of the operating theatre. But men were slower and more likely to make mistakes when they listened to rock music.

The researchers do not have any clear explanation for why women should be less affected – but suggest it might be a greater susceptibility among men to “auditory stress” – where perception is affected by “loud or discordant music”.

There were questions about whether different types of music could influence the speed and accuracy of how teams worked, she said.

“This study suggests that for men who are operating or playing a board game, rock music may be a bad idea” said Lead author of the research Dr Daisy Fancourt.

More at: Women’s concentration ‘less disrupted by music’

Do you let your students listen to music whilst working? Do your students listen to music whilst working at home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Sophie

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  1. VictoriaJaquiss

    Did they investigate whether the women were mothers or were or had been carers? I was editing an article while rocking a baby to sleep last night. Perhaps women’s lifestyles just mean they have to block out distractions?

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