The Famous Mozart Effect
The famous (or infamous) so-called “Mozart Effect” is the result of people taking some test results and supposing that they will apply universally.
In 1993, a researcher named Frances Rauscher at the University of California, Irvine, found that adolescents listening to Wolfgang Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D major performed better in reasoning tests than those listening to something else or sitting in a silent room. But what happened afterwards?
Babies Smarter than our Congressmen!spatial-temporal reasoning.
Mozart Effect Researcher Challenges Effects
A year after the study came out, Frances Rauscher published an article challenging the effects her study seemed to bear out and said:
Our results on the effects of listening to Mozart’s Sonata for Two Pianos in D Major K. 448 on spatial–temporal task performance have generated much interest but several misconceptions, many of which are reflected in attempts to replicate the research. The comments by Chabris and Steele et al. echo the most common of these: that listening to Mozart enhances intelligence. We made no such claim. The effect is limited to spatial–temporal tasks involving mental imagery and temporal ordering.
So what is spatial-temporal reasoning? It is the ability to think in patterns and pictures, and is crucial in math, in particular, in learning proportional reasoning. Spatial-temporal reasoning helps students, for instance, to visualize a problem at a higher level. Einstein said that’s how he thought when he wrote down his equations.
How Effective is the Mozart Effect?
How effective is the “Mozart Effect”? It seems to vary with whom you talk to. But, there is some pretty clear evidence that certain types of sounds do indeed affect this ability to think in terms of space and time and to visualize more complex ideas.
Watch for a post coming up on a cognitive development program that has proven to do some remarkable things.