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The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of background music, speech and silence on office workers' selective attention. Participants were 26 state office workers from a Southeastern state. A within-subject design was used with all participants completing five lines of the d2 Test of Attention (Brickenkamp & Zillmer, 1998) under each of the background conditions: music, speech, and silence. Results indicated that participants completed the greatest number of test items and received the highest concentration scores under the music condition, though there was no significant difference for either of these scores under any of the conditions. Participants made the greatest number of errors under the silence condition, though the difference in number of errors was not significant for any of the three conditions. A secondary purpose of this study was to determine if participants' perceptions of their distractibility and productivity differed from their actual scores on the d2 Test of Attention. Among participants who believed music made them more productive and was not a distracter, participants completed more items under the music condition than under the speech or silence conditions. Participants who believed music was a distracter completed the fewest items under the music condition, indicating that participants had realistic assumptions about the effect of music on their abilities to attend to a task. The results of this study have implications for the use of music in the workplace and employees' productivity.
Background Music, Office, Selective Attention, Work
Date of Defense
October 4, 2011.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Alice-Ann Darrow, Professor Directing Thesis; Jayne M. Standley, Committee Member; Dianne Gregory, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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