The Mozart Effect and Infant Intelligence

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In modern society intelligence is highly competitive and subject to scrutiny; therefore, it is understandable that a child’s intelligence is a primary concern for many parents. The Mozart effect, popularised in the 1990s, resulted in many parents believing that simply exposing their child to music composed by Mozart would improve their intelligence (Campbell, 1997). The claim was founded by research published in the journal Nature, which suggested that spatial reasoning could be temporarily enhanced by listening to one of Mozart’s compositions for ten minutes (Rauscher, Shaw & Ky, 1993). It will be argued that there is not sufficient evidence to support the claim that playing Mozart to babies will increase their intelligence. Firstly, the…show more content…
A study intending to emulate the results expressed in the original study was performed on preschool aged children exposing them to similar variables as those in the original study (Hui, 2007). The study showed no empirical evidence that listening to Mozart is more beneficial for children than ulterior conditions (Hui, 2007). This disproves the belief that listening to Mozart makes a child smarter also making the generalization from the Rauscher et al (1993) inconclusive. There are also a number of other factors that have been overlooked when comparing the finding of the original study to the Mozart effect in children. Another discerning factor expressed in the original study was the test used to assess intelligence between the participants. The portion of the Stanford-Binet test used in the original study focuses on one aspect of intelligence, namely, spatial reasoning (Rauscher et al, 1993). Therefore, it would be invalid to assume that high scores on this specific test delineate an increase in overall general intelligence. The test itself is also bias as specific cultures outperform others, as cultural environment has an influence on intelligence, which may lead to deficits in the results found (Weinberg, 1989). Sternberg (2004) found that IQ tests are effective at predicting academic success in western individuals but are not conclusive measures of overall intelligence or ability to succeed. Gardner (1999) also proposed that IQ test also
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