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LCB 1042-Academic Writing

Assignment #1 (Synthesis)

Music, Stress Relief, and Productivity: How Far Do They Correlate?


By Fateh Hakeem Bin Muhammad Fauzi (ID 17927) and Mohd Syauqi Bin Mohd Subri (ID 16133)

Introduction
Stress at work place, stress in college and stresses in relationships. These are three from thousands of examples of stresses that we live throughout our daily lives. Some people sort out into listening to music; either classical, jazz, or their favourite rock bands, while other people sort out into religious guidance to resolve their stress in life. All in all, people will do anything to remove stress from their lives in order to work peacefully. So here comes the main question, how far does music helps to relieve our stress and how does this affect our productivity?

Music and stress


Various tests have been done to find the correlation between listening to music, stress levels, and the ability to do task. Brennan and Charnetski (2000) as cited in Chimento and Tafalla (2006), in an attempt to find the relation between music and stress alleviation, they found out that listening to music alone for a short period of time does not play a significant role in stress reduction. In fact, they even concluded that there is no correlation between the two. However, Hammer (1996) as cited by the same author suggests that one must listen to his or her favourite music for a longer period, accompanied by a relaxation therapy or a guided imagery. Only then music therapy will give out a significant result in reducing stress.

Music and productivity


On the other hand, in finding the relation between music and the ability to do tasks, experts have termed out a phenomenon called the Mozart Effect. Rauscher, Shaw and Ky (1993) as cited by Lasser (n.d.) described the Mozart Effect as an improved performance on spatial reasoning tasks while listening to Mozarts classics. However, Mozart is not the only type of music that improves task performance. Nantias and Shellenberg (1999) as cited by Phillips (n.d.), in their research proves that it was the preferance of music that contributed to the increase in performance of the task, not just Mozarts music. Moreover, researchers who used other methods instead of paper folding and cutting tasks failed to replicate this unique phenomenon. The argument on the existency of the Mozart effect is still at a young age. Lasser added that: Additional experiments would reveal what particular variables facilitate this phenomenon. Perhaps only certain spatial tasks and music facilitate this phenomenon. Moreover, the role of arousal and relaxation needs to be further investigated, because research is currently limited. Physiological research on the brain while performing a spatial task in presence of Mozart, silence, relaxation tapes, and techno music would be most helpful in uncovering the mystery of the Mozart Effect.

LCB 1042-Academic Writing

Assignment #1 (Synthesis)

Stress and productivity


Speaking of relaxation, by having a classical music played in the background, a suitable atmosphere is created for the people to have relaxed conversation despite accomplishing the given tasks attentively. Supplementing this statement, Jensen (2001) as cited by Phillips says that It is possible that classical music helped the participants relax creating an opportunity for them not only to succeed at the problem solving task, but also have a more interactive communication experience..

Conclusion
All in all, music does affect stress levels in certain ways. Music also affects the way people deal with their work or given tasks by manipulating the stress level. In simple words, it is a three ways, triangular relation. However there is a limitation of how long you played the music for, and which type of music you like. Although the Mozart effect is still in its mists and shadows, there is enough evidence to conclude that classical music is the best option to alleviate stress. So, pickup an iPod and start curing those stresses!

References
Campbell, D. (n.d.). The Mozart Effect Resource Centre. Retrieved from The Mozart Effect Resource Centre: http://www.mozarteffect.com/ Chimento, M. M., & Tafalla, R. R. (2006). The Effects of Music on Perceived Level of Stress. Journal of Undergraduate Research IX. Clearinghouse. (n.d.). Retrieved from Clearinghouse: http://www.clearinghouse.mwsc.edu/ Lasser, J. (n.d.). Music, Relaxation, or Silence: What Facilitates Optimal Spatial-Reasoning? Department of Psychology. Phillips, C. (2010, December 03). Does Background Music Impact Computer Task Performance? Retrieved from http://psychology.wichita.edu/surl/usabilitynews/61/music.htm