No Significant Difference in Memory Performance Between Music with Lyrics and Music without Lyrics
Runyan, Adam C.
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Many people listen to music while completing important tasks. In the present research we investigated the effects that lyrics in music have on memory performance. A working memory model was the basis for the formation of the hypothesis that lyrics in music would interfere with the storing of information into long-term memory. Participants were randomly divided into one of three groups corresponding to which of three audio clips they listened to while reading and attempting to remember a list of words. The conditions participants were placed into were the control condition (sound of running water), instrumental music, and music with lyrics. Each participant read a list of words, completed two forgetting tasks, later attempted to recall words from the original list, and gave each recalled word a confidence rating. Results revealed no significant differences among the groups in the mean number of words correctly recalled or in the confidence ratings of those correctly recalled words. We conclude with a discussion of nonsignificant findings and proposed directions of future research.