The Mozart Effect in Infants

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Mozart effect.jpg

The "Mozart Effect" is a classic example of extraordinary claims as well as confirmation bias, It's described as the playing of Mozart's classical music during a child playing, or before a test, etc. that increases IQ of the subject who's listening to it. The findings were first made popular by Alfred A. Tomatis who used the music while attempting to cure various illnesses. The approach was then popularized in a book by Don Campbell that is based on research done in 1993, although Campbell's book makes wild claims that weren't found in the research by Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky (1993).

In popular culture, then governor of Georgia Zell Miller in 1998 adapted a proposed state budget that called for $105,000 to be spent every year giving each child born in Georgia a Mozart CD or tape. He claimed that "we could feel smarter already" immediately after listening to classical music for extended periods of time.

However, Rauscher et. al.'s findings in 1993 were far from convincing. In studies that gave researchers standardized tests that tested spacial reasoning, the subjects only performed somewhat better, and for only a very short period of time. There was also no evidence to conclude that Mozart increased mental development or the IQ of the person listening, yet these claims ballooned and appeared in several books that supported that theory, albeit with false claims.

Try for yourself!

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This page contains a single entry by Croy Boudreau published on November 6, 2011 11:33 PM.

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