The Effects of Mood, Language, and Order of Songs on Writing Productivity

  •  Ke Nicole Hu    


With music consumption being increasingly prominent in everyday modern life, it has become critical to examine the impact of music on the performance of cognitive tasks. Despite preexisting academic literature on the correlation between music and memorization, test-taking ability, and executive planning, conclusions from past studies regarding these cognitive tasks may not be directly applicable to writing, leaving the effects of music on writing tasks a relatively unexplored territory. Given the prevalence of music in the 21st century among all age groups, the current study explores the effects of induced mood (happy versus sad) and language (native versus foreign) of popular songs on writing productivity, measured by number of words written in a set time period. Participants in the experiment were randomly separated into four conditions based on the language and mood of songs, and each given two argumentative writing prompts to complete while listening to the songs assigned to them. Results revealed that the induced mood of the songs significantly affected the writing productivity, with participants listening to sad music producing word counts that are significantly higher than those given happy songs. No effects, however, were found for the language of the music’s lyrical content, suggesting that the language of a song has no significant impact on writing productivity.

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