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Complexity and Degree of Tempo Modulation as Factors in Productivity
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by Jeffrey M. Miller and Blaine F. Peden - University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
This experiment measured test-taking speed and accuracy as a function of background music tempo acceleration and test complexity. Across periods of 2 min, 3 groups of 11 participants took both a simple and complex math test while listening to background music with the tempo incrementally increased by either 0%, 25%, or 50%. Completion rates, but not accuracy, significantly decreased as the percentage rate of tempo increased. Furthermore, simple test scores decreased significantly more than complex test scores. This outcome suggests some effect of tempo on working memory capacity, necessitating further research using different tempo parameters.