Influence of music and distraction on visual search performance of participants with high and low affect intensity

Lee Crust, Peter J. Clough, Colin Robertson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


This study examined the role of music and distraction on the performance of a visual search task (grid test) for 57 volunteer sports science undergraduates (M = 21.6 yr., SD = 3.0), comprising 39 men and 18 women who were subsequently classified as either high or low in Affect Intensity (responsiveness to emotional stimuli), Participants were instructed to identify as many numbers in sequence from an 8 × 8 concentration grid while being randomly exposed to four conditions: silence (Control), distraction (Talking), Instrumental Music, and Lyrical Music. Each trial lasted 120 sec., with 180-sec. rest periods between trials. A one-way repeated-measures analysis of variance and Newman-Keuls post hoc analysis for the entire sample (N = 57) indicated that significantly higher scores on the grid test were attained with Lyrical Music than with Instrumental Music (p<.05), Talking (p<.01), or Control conditions (p<.01). The Instrumental Music condition had significantly better performance than either the Talking or Control condition (p<.01). When the 20 highest and lowest Affect Intensity scores were analysed, no significant between-group mean differences in performance were evident. Results suggest that music may facilitate a simple visual search task.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)888-896
Number of pages9
JournalPerceptual and Motor Skills
Issue number3 I
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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