Making sense of the Mozart effect: Correcting the problems created by null hypothesis significance testing
Rauscher, Shaw, and Ky (1993) found that exposure to a Mozart sonata enhanced performance on visuo-spatial tasks. This finding, subsequently labeled the 'Mozart effect', resulted in a flurry of additional research aimed at exploring the nature and extent of the effects of music on cognitive tasks. Exact replications and extensions of these findings did not however result in clear or consistent support for the existence of a Mozart effect. Some studies failed to replicate or generalize the effects to additional cognitive tasks or types of music. At the same time, other studies did find support for the beneficial effects of Mozart (and other music) on cognitive performance. Three studies were conducted to test the Mozart effect utilizing the Mozart piece and one cognitive task from the original Rauscher et al. (1993) study. Results from all three studies did not support the existence of a Mozart effect. Problems associated with null hypothesis testing and an alternative Bayesian approach to the data were explored.