Impacts on performance effectiveness, processing efficiency, and subjective experience by music listening in extraverts and introverts

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Levy, Laura
Catrambone, Richard
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The present study evaluates the utility of a new model based on attentional control theory (ACT) in a music psychology study. This new model seeks to provide a mechanism to explain impacts of concurrent-task music listening on performance effectiveness, processing efficiency, and subjective experience of work by level of extraversion. After nearly 100 years of music psychology research, the literature is difficult to reconcile for whether listening to music while completing a cognitive task exerts a negative, positive, or null effect on performance. The Personality, Anxiety, and Musical Impacts (PAMI) model incorporates theories of arousal and anxiety as a mechanism that impinges on the cognitive functions of shifting and inhibition, as well as introduces a critical dependent variable of processing efficiency, and seeks to provide further understanding for the interaction of music listening, cognitive tasks, and individual differences. Two experiments were conducted in this study to assess the impacts on performance effectiveness and processing efficiency for inhibition and shifting tasks for extraverts and introverts in silence, low beats per minute (bpm), and high bpm conditions. Music exerted impacts on performance effectiveness for the Stroop task, on processing efficiency for both Stroop and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Task, as well as altered the subjective experience of tasks by level of extraversion making the tasks more enjoyable but seemingly more challenging and stressful. These findings suggest the PAMI model provides value in explaining the differing impacts concurrent task and music listening can have on individual differences, and move towards a prescriptive model of identifying the appropriate acoustic environments for certain kinds of people for specific kinds of work.
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