Influence of music on sensorimotor coordination and concentration among drivers in an Indian city

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Indian Journal of Social Psychiatry


Background: Music is a popular pastime and an essential part of our lives that has the power to change one's state of mind. The melody, lyrics, and rhythm combine together to create creative symphonies that can either fill one with energy, enthusiasm, and positivity, or take one to melancholic mood. Music is known for its positive influence and therapeutic qualities but at times it can be distracting as well especially when your other faculties are engaged in doing other work. Driving is one such activity where music, though a joy to listen to, can prove disastrous through distractions. Materials and Methods: This study with the help of Vienna Test System examines the psychological impact of different genre of music on a driver's driving abilities and possible reaction and response amidst exposure to multiple stimuli, which could be correct, omitted, or delayed. The sample included 16 individuals who were drivers. The sample was classified into two groups of equal numbers with one named 'young' comprised of people up to the age of 30 years while the other named 'old,' were more than 45 years old. The participants were asked to undertake driving test, 'with' and 'without' the music. Using the Vienna Tests System, acoustic and visual stimuli using soft classical, hard rock, and jazz music were used during the driving test. Results: A two-way mixed analysis of variance test and differences by t-test examined the relationship of age and impact of music on individual's reaction time (RT) and number of correct, omitted, or delayed responses, which was found significant. Conclusion: The participants under the group of 'with music' clearly resulted in better performance showing lower RT, compared to the situation where no music was played.

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