Time To Focus? Time To Change The Channel!
A lot of people do it, I do it and maybe you do too. But does it really work? I speak of listening to music while working on a project to help focus on the task at hand.
Science has explored this topic for over 40 years, starting back in the days when artists such as George Michael, Madonna, Foreigner, And Chaka Khan had top pop hits.
The latest findings now indicate there is a right time and a wrong time to put on the headphones or at least a right and wrong kind of music.
For example, the most recent research as reported by popular science shows that if a task requires creativity or "some element of mental rotation," then listening to the kind of music that you like can help increase performance.
On the other hand, if the task you're doing requires memory work or to "rehearse information in order," science says you're better off doing that without the music blaring.
Research shows that if your intent is to increase reading comprehension, having quiet or instrumental music on in the background is your best bet.
Of course we recommend talk radio anytime! (PopSci)