Science University Research Symposium (SURS)

Effect of Music on Recall of Text

Publication Date



Sciences and Mathematics, College of


Psychological Science, Department of

SURS Faculty Advisor

Dr. Michael Oliver

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Music is an integral aspect of our daily routines. We listen to tunes whilst performing a multitude of activities. Whether we are driving, grocery shopping, or even studying for an exam, we commonly have a melody playing in the background. Although listening to music while studying is a common practice, controversy exists regarding how varying types of background music impact our ability to recall words and contexts (Echaide, 2019). To explore this, researchers have been studying the influence of lyrical and non lyrical music on recall ability (Belsham, R., & Harman, D., 1977). We expanded upon the existing research in this field, focusing on the impact of music type on recall in college students, a population of individuals who are likely to be affected by this phenomenon. Our study consisted of 43 participants who were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: lyrical music, non lyrical music, and no music. They were asked to read a short story before completing a Qualtrics survey intended to gauge their memory of events and details from the video. Our hypothesis is that memory recall will be highest for non lyrical music, followed by no music and lyrical music, respectively. Results are currently being analyzed.

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