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The Relationship Between Music and Productivity

Music impacts the way an individual focuses on completing a task. Music with and without lyrics differentially impacts how people can filter out distractions depending on what they are listening to (Shih et al., 2012). We hypothesized that participants who listen to music without lyrics will work more efficiently because they are able to focus better on the task at hand and eliminate all background noise. In this sample of approximately 100 Westfield State University students we provided two groups with a song (one with lyrics, one without lyrics) and asked them to complete a hand-eye coordination and planning task. We then conducted a survey assessing their self-perception of the task’s success. Results from the survey were used to assess group differences based on the presence of lyrics in music. Shih, Y.-N., Huang, R.-H., & Chiang, H.-Y. (2012). Background music: Effects on attention performance. Work: Journal of Prevention, Assessment & Rehabilitation, 42(4), 573–578.

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