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Does music help us work better? It depends

bbc.com

Music and productivity

During World War II, the BBC broadcasted upbeat music in factories twice a day to see if it might step up the pace of work and get the military what they needed. It worked. One report stated that the output at a factory increased by 12,5-15%.

Since then, music has started to play ...

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Playing the right music in the office motivates staff.

When you're concentrating, you'll want calmer, more relaxing music. At the end of the day, when you're feeling tired, you'll desire more upbeat music.

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The benefits of music

There are two possible ways music might be beneficial while working:

  • It makes us feel good, therefore helping us to work through otherwise tedious tasks.
  • It makes us smarter. The Mozart effect is a well-known example - that listening to a piano sonata composed by a genius ca...

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The "activation theory" is the idea is that people need a certain amount of mental arousal to function effectively.

One 1995 study found that when workers at a large retail organization were allowed to listen to personal stereos for one month, regardless of their choic...

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Some scientists think that music doesn't help us at all. It's possible that we view the ability to listen to music as a privilege from our employers, and convincing ourselves that we are working harder in turn.

In some contexts, music is actively detrimental, such as problem-solvi...

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One meta-analysis concluded that background music disturbs the reading process and has a small harmful effect on memory, but has a positive impact on emotional reactions and improves achievements in sports.

Music might be beneficial in the workplace, depending on the type of work, the ...

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