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Assignment 3: The Mozart Effect




In this assignment, you will read an article about the Mozart effect and identify various parts of the research process. This exercise will help you learn how to read a research article and to understand the research process.




Read the following article:


•Rauscher, F. H., Shaw, G. L., & Ky, K. N. (1993). Music and spatial task performance. Nature, 365. 6447: 611. (October 14, 1993). (ProQuest Document ID 76004658).




In your article summary, respond to the following questions:


•State the research hypothesis in your own words. Identify the independent and dependent variables.


•What were some variables the researchers controlled in their study? Why was this necessary?


•What evidence do the researchers offer as a test of their hypothesis? Is this evidence empirical (observable)? Is it valid?


•What explanation do the researchers offer for their findings? Does the evidence justify this explanation?




Read the following article:




Jenkins, J.S. (2001). The Mozart effect. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 94, 170-172.




Based on your readings, respond to the following:


•Do you think there is any merit in the study (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993)? Give three reasons for your position.


•Does the study take individual differences in spatial ability into account? Explain your answer.


•What are two ways in which the experiment could be modified to make the results more generalizable?




Write a 5–6-page paper in Word format. Apply APA standards to citation of sources. Use the following file naming convention: LastnameFirstInitial_M1_A3.doc.




By Wednesday, April 15, 2015, deliver your assignment to the M1: Assignment 3 Dropbox.




Assignment 3 Grading Criteria 


Maximum Points




Accurately identified and described the research hypothesis and variables studied in the research article. Identified any control variables, and explained the necessity of controlling them.






Evaluated validity of the evidence presented as a test of the hypothesis in the research article.






Evaluated interpretation of results in the research article.






Critically assessed the merit of the research study providing at least three reasons. 






Evaluated whether the test took into account individual differences in spatial ability giving reasons. 






Suggested at least two ways to modify the experiment to make the results more generalizable.






Wrote in a clear, concise, and organized manner; demonstrated ethical scholarship in accurate representation and attribution of sources; displayed accurate spelling, grammar, and punctuation.










 Go to the Doc Sharing area for a document explaining the important parts of a journal article. This document will help you complete your paper more successfully.








The Mozart Effect



































The Mozart Effect is a phenomenon that occurs when individuals listen to the two piano sonata.  The stated results are individuals that are able to remember information easier.  There are two studies that were conducted in associated with the Mozart Effect.  The first study was dedicated to spatial skill performance and its neural pathway relation to music.  The other study was dedicated to challenging the first study due to the argument that any type of music that is appreciated can cause the same memory effect.  The second study was based on an experiment with unborn mice that heard Mozart’s piano sonata K448.  The other part of the study was related to the effects of Mozart’s piano sonata K448 on patients who were suffering from epilepsy.  The overall conclusion is that Mozart’s piano sonata K448 has positive effects on both animals and humans.








 Keywords: Mozart Effect, spatial skill performance, memory, music, neurons, neural pathways, brain, rats, and epilepsy




The Mozart Effect




            Research and conducting experiments is the most effective way possible to gain an answer.  The type of research is based on the situation, the hypothesis, and the resources the individual or group has on hand.  The purpose of this research paper is to examine the Mozart Effect from two different journals and answer questions based on the research materials.  The first article for examination is Music and spatial task performance.




Music and Spatial Task Performance




The Mozart Effect is essentially a study to determine if music helps individuals to accomplish tasks better.  Memory is definitely a factor in this study.  Rauscher, Shaw, Levine, and Ky (1993), hypothesized that a model of the brain and its pathways for neurons would prove that music and the ability to orient oneself with their environment can be seen using the same neural paths and they cover a large portion of the same areas in the brain. 




A much simpler picture would be two cars driving down the same highway to get to similar locations.  The actual terminology used is spatial task performance.  A quick explanation of spatial ability is necessary to understand the important of the study.  Spatial skill deals with comprehension and memory related to spaces among objects (JHU).  This ability can be classified as an intelligence that is set apart from others such as verbal or reasoning.  It can be considered a fluid type of trait that evolves over time as people have different life experiences (JHU). 




The significance of spatial ability is two-fold: in application and also in occupation.  In terms of application it is related to a person’s ability to perform at least two tasks at the same time.  For example: people who can eat and drive at the same time have developed this ability through spatial skill.  Just like experience work has its spatial skill requirements.  Occupations such as mathematics, natural sciences, and meteorology are included in the spatial skill classification (JUH).    




Notice that these types of occupations often require research.  Two important components of research are the independent variable and the dependent variable.  In this study the independent variables are: Mozart’s sonata, college students, and three year olds (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993).  The dependent variable in the study was memory (Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky, 1993).  The researchers focused on Mozart’s sonata which was a controlled variable because it was the only type of music they used.  This was necessary because the study itself was music specific i.e. Mozart’s sonata.  There were two other controlled variables college students and three year olds.




Controlling age ranges was important to see how memory was affected in children and adults, namely to see who remembered the most information for the longest period of time.  Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky (1993), presented data from two different studies: college students with improved short-term memory due to Mozart’s sonata, and three year olds with long-term advancements specifically in nonverbal cognitive abilities based on listening to Mozart’s sonata.




The evidence from this study was observable and valid.  The researchers Rauscher, Shaw, & Ky (1993) explained that infants possess the highest level of ability concerning memorization and the development of nonverbal cognitive skills.  As a person ages brain elasticity lessens and it becomes harder for a person to grasp new material specifically memory recall and implementation.  The evidence presented did justify the explanation and proved that music does travel along the same neural pathways as spatial ability.  The following is another study based on the Mozart Effect.  














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