Attention drainage effect: How background music effects concentration in Taiwanese college students

Peter Tze; Ming Chou
January 2010
Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching & Learning;Jan2010, Vol. 10 Issue 1, p36
Academic Journal
The purpose of this study was to see whether different types of background music affect the performance of a reading comprehension task in Taiwanese college students. There are two major research questions in this study. First, this study tries to find out whether listening to music affect the learner's concentration when they are doing a task such as reading. The second research question is whether light classical music is more distracting or less distracting than hip hop music during a reading comprehension task. An experiment involving 133 participants from a medium-size college in southern Taiwan was conducted where the participants performed a reading comprehension task with either light classical music, hip hop music, or with no music in the background. The result of the study showed that music with a higher intensity is more distracting and has a greater effect on task performance and concentration. The result helped formulate the Attention Drainage Effect theory, which is based on Kahneman's (1973) capacity model of attention.


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