It is now December and testing has begun here at Brevard High School. Since it has been quite a while since our last update, here’s a recap. My partner Candace and I are attempting to discover music’s impact on the the cognitive process and mood. More specifically, how this affects high schoolers. Most of the time we are discouraged from listening to music while working because some claim that music is distracting. We are trying to figure this once and for all. Okay, now that we have refreshed your memory, onto the fun stuff. For the past few weeks we have been working tirelessly trying to create the perfect tests for our experiment. We began deciding an appropriate level at which to test our participants. After some consideration and helpful input from our peers, we decided that 7th grade would be good enough… Right? In hindsight, maybe we should have gone to 6th grade level instead. Anyhow, after we finally decided on what tests to use, we had to assemble them. We hand selected 15 questions from the 7th grade released math end of grade assessment and gathered some reading comprehension tests from the middle school. Now that we have assembled over 30 different tests consisting 3 math, 3 reading, and 2 mood tests each (It took an awful lot a paper…Just in case you were wondering), it is time to begin testing. First, we had to undergo the hard task of gathering participants and actually getting them to do what we needed. This was especially hard for me… I’m not exactly the most social person. Luckily my partner is more gifted in this area and has taken care of most of this. My partner has posted more about the actual testing process if you want to read more there… After all is said and done, it is time for me to grade everything. From this experience, I have learned that I could NEVER be a teacher. I have a newfound appreciation for you, teachers! Thanks for reading this long story and coming on this adventure with us!
Sarah and I have finally started our testing on the effects of music on cognitive processes and it has been going somewhat smoothly. We have had plenty of bumps in the road thus far, but it is getting easier as we go along. I will say, the three minutes each test takes is the longest part of the process for us and the hardest. The grading is a close second, and getting forms back from people is in third place. The faces of our participants when we say to put their pencils down is probably the best part, or at least my favorite. Their faces are full of worry, relief, or panic as the timer stops and papers are collected. The reactions of the participants to the music is great to see, whether it is the neutral song or their favorite. Some of the participants love the music and smile and move their head to the beat, and others hate it and frown or get restless in their seat, clearly wanting to make it stop. The relief of being able to say that they’re done with all of the tests is amazing. Well, for us it is. Some of the participants get nervous or worried about how they did even though no one will know who did how well on each test.
This year my partner and I will be tackling a psychology project. However, before we start, we have the exciting task of project set up. Of course, psychology projects require quite a bit of planning to ensure that everything goes as planned. First, we had to think through every step of our project to eliminate any excess variables. After about two weeks of planning, we met with a psychologist and determined that we needed to narrow our project so we changed a few things and now we have a good idea of what we will be doing for the rest of the semester. We started off looking at the effects of music on the cognitive process and involuntary actions (blood pressure, heart rate, etc.). After deciding to eliminate the involuntary action aspect, we wanted to study the impact of music on mood. As you can see, impacts of music was really the only constant thought in our ideas. We have finally decided to do the effects of music on the cognitive process and mood. Now, we have to fill out all of the paperwork that goes along with a psychology project. After two week of paperwork and signatures, it is finally time to start looking for participants and start up this project! Wish us luck!
Music is a part of everyday life. You hear it at home, at school, in the car, on the bus, at a store, the list is endless. Well, maybe it is endless… Anyways! Music is always there and affects mood and behaviors of the person listening to it. Whether it’s good or bad, it happens. Music can make you feel great and happy, or it can make you feel bad, sad, or angry. These moods affect your behavior more than you think. Sometimes music even affects just your behavior. Ever been upset and about to cry then dancing around your room? Yeah, like that.