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Psychiatric Association

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The aim of this paper is to investigate one of the most well-known phenomena in the field of music psychology: the influence of Mozart’s music (Mozart effect). Today the Mozart effect is generally related to every kind of short-term or long-term positive influence of music on men and animals.Here it is examined in relation to cognitive tasks and particularly in relation to reverse mnemonic recall tasks. Twenty-four volunteers, aged 50–55 participated in all 3 ten-minute conditions of the experiment which were Mozart’s Allegro con spirito K.448, Beethoven’s Rondo-Allegro opus 61and ten minutes of silence without any recorded acoustic stimulus. The individuals were randomly separated in six groups. The examination material were three improvised groups of series consisted of one-digit numbers from 2 to 9 digits, which were read in a rate of one digit per second. Results indicated that the majority of the participants did not show any increase in the number of digits that they could recall due to the listening of Mozart’s piece. Also, no statistically significant difference was found between the three conditions associated with listening to a morphologically similar excerpt by Beethoven. What was however found was that individuals who strongly preferred the Mozart condition scored better than the others (p=0,005). Finally, it seems that participants who had attended even basic music studies remembered more digits in all three conditions of the experiment than the others who had never studied music before (p=0,000).

Key words: Mozart effect, Beethoven effect, backwards digit span task, musical preferences, musical education

V. Giannouli, M. Tsolaki, P. Kargopoulos (page 60) - Full article (Greek)