Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Listening to Music While Studying May Be Doing More Harm than Good to Students

Listening to music while studying may be doing more harm than good to students, according to a study done by psychologists at Texas A&M University.

The 2021 study, led by psychologists in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences, explained that because attention is a limited resource, human beings are not capable of fully focusing on more than one thing at a time.

“Personally, I can’t listen to anything while I am studying,” said Veronica Sales, a high school student. “I have ADHD, and I can barely even focus on the studying part most of the time.”

To many students, putting on big headphones and blasting music seems to be a foolproof way to get rid of distractions. According to the Texas A&M researchers, however, listening to music makes it harder for students to retain information.

“I’m not very big on studying, but when I do, I mostly just listen to lo-fi beats. They’re soothing and stop me from stressing,” said Khristina Lu, a freshman at the University of Memphis.

According to the study, listening to music while studying will make it easier for your brain to associate that information with the music you are listening to. This would make it harder for your brain to think back to the context you were studying in during the actual exam.

“Listening to music helps me study and memorize things,” said Rushauna Morris, a sophomore at Southwest Community College. “I still remember the information I was studying years ago when I put on a specific album.”

The problem with that approach, however, is that students won’t have that music with them during an exam and therefore the music can’t be use to trigger information they memorized.

In their conclusion, the psychologists gave some suggestions to students who need background noise when they study. The researchers recommend staying away from music with lyrics and focusing more on instrumentals. If lyrics are preferred, they should be in a language the student doesn’t speak.

“If I’m reading and listening to the lyrics at the same time, I can’t focus on either,” said Alberto Rivera, a junior at the University of Memphis. “But an instrumental with no lyrics really helps me get into the zone.”

Similar Posts