Classical Music: The Mozart Effect Essay

1402 Words 6 Pages
The Mozart effect is a phenomena whereby listening to ten minutes of Mozart’s music, a person’s spatial IQ is boosted by 8-9 points (on the Stanford-Binet IQ Scale), in comparison to listening to ten minutes of a relaxation tape or silence (Rauscher, Shaw and Ky, 1993). This literature review critically assesses the key works and concepts concerning the Mozart effect, specifically its methodologies, its limits, and finally, alternative theories. While some academics argue that ‘listening to Mozart makes babies smarter’ is a valid claim (___,__;____,__), others denounce it (___,__;___,__). While the Mozart effect does show temporarily increased spatial IQ, it does not support the claim that ‘listening to Mozart makes babies smarter’. When …show more content…
However, there is one age group missing from this list: children, and specifically, babies. The research claim explicitly refers to making babies smarter, even though the original study, and all subsequent studies, have not been performed on babies. As seen in ‘Mozart effect-Shmozart effect: A meta-analysis’ by Pietschnig, Voracek and Formann (2010), nearly 40 studies (including over 3000 subjects) have been conducted to determine whether the Mozart effect really does boost spatial IQ.
Although the original study found that listening to ten minutes of Mozart boosted spatial IQ by up to 9 points (in comparison to listening to silence or a relaxation tape), this study was conducted on college students, who are at a different developmental stage than infants (Rauscher et al. 1993). Therefore, the results of this study cannot be generalised to members of the population that are in a different age group. The apparent lack of testing the Mozart effect on babies indicates that perhaps there is no plausible way to test on such young children, as they are incapable of completing spatial reasoning tasks, such as cutting and folding paper. As there have been no studies that have tested on babies, results showing improved cognitive ability in babies after listening to Mozart simply do not exist, which is a major flaw of the research claim that ‘listening to Mozart makes babies smarter. The studies conducted since the original in 1993 have been indicative of some validity
Open Document