Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Surgeons, Pigs Feet, and Scalpels Prove Music Increases Productivity

Do you ever blast your favourite tunes when you're trying to get into work mode? Many people have a playlist for college calculus cramming. Or for getting that extra boost of energy to get that grunt work done at the office. Ever wonder if that works for anyone else? In fact, the study by the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) found that when people listened to their favourite music, they made less mistakes, and worked faster. Researchers asked 15 surgeons to sew up incisions made in dead pigs’ feet, because they’re most similar to human skin (nice), in their lab. The surgeons had to carry out two identical ‘wound repairs’ using layered stitches, on two consecutive days. Some had their preferred music on during their first day in the lab – some had it on for the second. The study, published in the Aesthetic Surgery Journal, found that ‘the average completion time of a repair for all the surgeons was 7% less when their preferred music was playing, and 10% less for more experienced surgeons.’ So long as you don't spend half your time putting together the PERFECT playlist, this study shows that music can make you work faster! Music has a great way of getting our mind and body working together in a rhythm. It keeps the momentum and pace of a task moving along. I wonder how much of an impact the style of music has on speed? There have been many studies done on the technically perfect tempo for music, which is the same speed as the average human's heart beat! Would increasing the tempo of the average song make someone work faster? Researchers also compared the quality of the stitching and found that it improved when surgeons carried out the wound closures while listening to their preferred music. ‘Our study confirmed that listening to the surgeon’s preferred music improves efficiency and quality of wound closure, which may translate to health care cost savings and better patient outcomes,’ said co-author Andrew Zhang. Yes, the sample size here is not massive. But this is not the first time a study like this has been done! Mindlab International found that 9/10 workers perform better when listening to music. This was an experiment done with a larger sample size, and with completely different tasks. Twenty six participants were given a series of different tasks – including spell-checking, equation solving, mathematical word problems, data entry and abstract reasoning – five days in a row. They completed the tasks while listening to one of four music genres, or no music at all, to see which had the greatest effect on accuracy and speed. 88 per cent worked more accurately, and 81 per cent worked faster, while listening to music. Via Does Music Help You Study? - Mind the Science Gap (I apologize in advance- there were no good comics for this topic.) If youre a student, I am almost willing to bet that you have music playing right now. Whatever your preference, Im sure you love listening [...]

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