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Thirty-six students, twenty-six females and ten male subjects, volunteered from The Florida State University College Of Music to participate in a study to determine the effect of music volume on simulated driving skills. All subjects met the criteria of having a drivers license. Each subject completed a questionnaire answering such questions as gender, number of years driving, number of car accidents, and whether he/she listened to music while driving. They also answered a question about anxiety level while driving on an interstate. And on a scale from one to ten, ten being very high and 1 being very low. (See Appendix B for questionnaire.) The design used subjects as their own controls across three auditory conditions during a simulated driving experience. The three conditions: no music, soft music and loud music were counter balanced for order effect. Dependent variables were number of driving errors and questionnaires with self-reported levels of anxiety and distraction. (See Appendix A for copies of data collection forms.) Results revealed that music as an external stimulus while driving is distracting. Music listening caused more errors on the simulated driving task than during the nonmusical state. Both the soft and loud music following no music caused worse driving scores. The subjects were aware that music acted as a distraction while driving and yet listened anyway.
A Thesis submitted to the College of Music in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Music.
Includes bibliographical references.
Jayne M. Standley, Professor Directing Thesis; Clifford Madsen, Committee Member; Diane Gregory, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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