University of Twente Student Theses


The Effect of Background Music on Learners’ Intrinsic Motivation and Performance

Supriyanta, Sage Farah Nur Anindita (2023) The Effect of Background Music on Learners’ Intrinsic Motivation and Performance.

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Abstract:Numerous scholars have found that listening to background music has the potential to enhance learners’ cognitive performance. Nevertheless, the empirical evidence remains equivocal regarding this phenomenon. One possible explanation is the potential role of emotions involved in the process. This present study aims to address these shortcomings by providing a comprehensive analysis that integrates a carefully chosen research design, considering the potential mediating role of emotional states based on the arousal-and-mood hypothesis. Moreover, given the importance of enhancing intrinsic motivation in educational settings and the strong relationship between emotions and intrinsic motivation, this study seeks to determine whether emotion plays a mediating role in fostering intrinsic motivation. The participants in this study were the University of Twente students (N = 44). These participants were randomly assigned into two groups, each experiencing a different sequence of the experiment: whether no music followed by music or music followed by no music. All participants completed two study topics created using an internet-based platform called Genially. Emotional states, cognitive performance, and intrinsic motivation were measured using Affect Grid, open-ended questions related to the topic, and Intrinsic Motivation Inventory, respectively. The findings of this study suggest that utilising Mozart’s music as background music did not have a statistically significant impact on learners’ performance and motivation. Moreover, no significant effect of background music on emotional states was found. Consequently, mediation analysis could not be conducted. Despite the absence of statistically significant results, the study revealed subtle differences in emotional states, intrinsic motivation, and cognitive performance among both groups, indicating a more complex relationship in the context of learning with background music.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:77 psychology, 81 education, teaching
Programme:Psychology MSc (66604)
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