banner
You are not using a standards compliant browser. Because of this you may notice minor glitches in the rendering of this page. Please upgrade to a compliant browser for optimal viewing:
Firefox
Internet Explorer 7
Safari (Mac and PC)
Post Archive
2014 (0)2012 (3)2011 (73)
December (1)

Robot Insects
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
November (6)October (5)

BRB
Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Women's Intuition
Friday, October 21, 2011

Thinking with your Fingers
Monday, October 17, 2011

Choice
Tuesday, October 11, 2011

On Souls and Confections...?
Tuesday, October 4, 2011
September (7)

On Souls...?
Thursday, September 29, 2011

Beware the False Consensus Effect!
Saturday, September 24, 2011

Your Preferences - Preliminary Results
Thursday, September 22, 2011

Popularity Survey - DO IT FOR SCIENCE!
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Zietsch's Response to PZ, Laden and Scicurious.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Personality of Cities
Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Discussion #1 - Walking Speed and City Size
Sunday, September 4, 2011
August (6)

People who Doodle Learn Faster = Bullshit
Thursday, August 25, 2011

Good News Everyone!
Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Got the Time? Part II
Saturday, August 20, 2011

Got the time?
Sunday, August 14, 2011

Can Randomness Predict the Future?
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The House of Psycasm
Sunday, August 7, 2011
July (7)June (6)May (8)

Part 1: Do We Have Freewill?
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Open Letter: A follow-up
Tuesday, May 31, 2011

This is a lie, she said.
Sunday, May 22, 2011

MSPaint is mightier than the Sword
Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Art of Indecision
Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skeptical Checklist 1.1
Friday, May 13, 2011

The Skeptical Checklist 1.0
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Of Chimps, Children and Post-Grads...
Monday, May 2, 2011
April (5)March (5)February (7)January (10)

Magical Thinking: Voodoo, Prayer, Black Cats, and You
Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Art of Character Creation
Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Video Game Morality: Actions inside the box?
Friday, January 21, 2011

Psychobabble goes live!
Tuesday, January 18, 2011

The Trolley Problem: Who cares?
Sunday, January 16, 2011

Podcast delay and misc. Drugs!?
Saturday, January 15, 2011

My very own Natural Disaster
Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A window into your Genetics and Mate Preference?
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Oh sorry, I totally phased out there...
Thursday, January 6, 2011

Porn: A force of Mutual Benefits
Sunday, January 2, 2011
2010 (35)
December (7)

Statistical Pwnage
Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Why you should care...
Thursday, December 16, 2010

The paper of Influence
Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sharing: Part I - Emotions
Sunday, December 12, 2010

No-one cuts deeper than a Science Blogger.
Thursday, December 9, 2010

Me Meme [Ohh, links now]
Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Half Full, or Half Empty? Well, That Depends on the Shape of the Glass.
Sunday, December 5, 2010
November (11)

What Your Voice Says About You
Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Babushka Blog: A Meta-Blog on ResearchBlogging.
Sunday, November 28, 2010

An Announcement:
Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Willful Self-Deception is Bliss
Sunday, November 21, 2010

Dance, Blogger, Dance!
Friday, November 19, 2010

The Science of Marriage
Sunday, November 14, 2010

The Moon and Antarctica
Thursday, November 11, 2010

Available: One Mentee. Good Condition.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Again we are limited by our puny human-ness
Sunday, November 7, 2010

Blogging Carnival - What is Psychopathology?: Origins
Friday, November 5, 2010

*sigh* Psi: A Rebuttal
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
October (12)

The Science of Mind-Reading
Thursday, October 28, 2010

How not to think yourself smart...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to Assassins' League
Sunday, October 24, 2010

TODO LATER. A story of procrastination and forgiveness.
Thursday, October 21, 2010

A man and his words.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Little kids, little minds...
Sunday, October 17, 2010

Smoking (maybemightcould) is Good.
Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to stop the Apocalpyse
Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How to trick yourself creative
Sunday, October 10, 2010

Siesta - It sounds like Fiesta, but isn't.
Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Dread Pirate Rift
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Being Blonde. Natural or otherwise...
Sunday, October 3, 2010
September (5)
Rate This Post
Total votes: 2
Blogger Profile

Psycasm

Psycasm is the exploration of the world psychological. Every day phenomenon explained and manipulated to one's own advantage. Written by a slightly overambitious undergrad, Psycasm aims at exploring a whole range of social and cognitive processes in order to best understand how our minds, and those mechanisms that drive them, work.

My posts are presented as opinion and commentary and do not represent the views of LabSpaces Productions, LLC, my employer, or my educational institution.

Post Tags

m
Blog RSS Feed
RSS Add to My Yahoo Add to Google
Sunday, September 26, 2010

Editor's Selection IconThis post was chosen as an Editor's Selection for ResearchBlogging.org

I'm a purist, and I don't know why. I see people jogging on the street with their Ipods and it feels like they're cheating. I honestly can't explain this irrationality. It might stem from the days when I used to go to the gym and I would be hill-climbing on an excercise bike while watching a room full of soft, barely sweating over-weight house-wives toddle on a treadmill while watching MTV.

My only response when trying to explain this view is 'own your pain, own your workout - don't remove yourself from the situation', in my mind, it's the present frame of reference that makes you mentally harder. Of course, not everyone wants to be 'harder' and not everyone has the same aims in working out.

And so I think it's time I confronted this bizarre, irrational little prejudice of mine. What benefits can listening to music bring when working out? Bishop, Karageorghis and Kinrade (2010) took a bunch of tennis players (who ranged in proficiency from local to international ranks) and gave them a virtual tennis task that was designed to measure Arousal and Reaction-Time. They varied the tempo and the intensity of the music across conditions. They found that faster tempo increased arousal (and was perceived as more pleasant), and higher intensity (i.e. volume) increased arousal and Reaction-Time. And Silence, my personal preference, was least beneficial of all - except for the slow-moderate music condition.

Ok, but so what? Fast music that's Loud makes us twitchy, it seems to me that this isn't going to help any particular athletes with the possible exception of China's National Ping-Pong team. Most of us Jog, or Skip, or Cycle. So Dyrlund and Wininger (2008) made people run on treadmills - not unlike lab rats - while listening to music rated by preference. Paying attention to the music increases your overall enjoyment of the excercise, and again, intensity rates correlates well with their performance (perceived exertion). Now given that participants could choose between most or least preferred music it's surprising that there's no given difference between levels of preference. Their measure of performance was weak (perceived exertion) but let's put that in context - we don't work out with our own heart-rate monitors - we just kind of infer how we feel. I guess this is why Gyms get away with pumping out the techno music - it makes us feel good about the level of our workout, and so long as it's loud enough, we actually do work harder.

Finally, Waterhouse, Hudson and Edwards (2009) took music and artificially sped it up and slowed it down (in 10% increments). They found that people's performance (measured in cycles/minute) increased as the tempo increased.

Note: Big error bars, but it's trending in the upward direction.

I wonder how big the difference would be if the music was

varied by more than 10%.

So, perhaps my predjudice is misplaced. Sure, sure, we all knew music makes workouts more enjoyable - but it appears it can actually deliver benefits. My only worry is how those overweight middle-age treadmill waddlers might perform without MTV... In the meantime I may have to reconsider my position on workouts and Ipods. I have spent many, many years with Taekwon-Do instructors pushing me without the benefit of the a pump-class setting. And perhaps my goal in workouts is not the same as everyone else and so that leaves me as a bit of a work-out snob. But it's not all my fault - a nice little maxim held by my whole Taekwon-Do school is:

"Every good instructor is a Sadist, and every good student is a masochist".

---

Bishop, D., Karageorghis, C., & Kinrade, N. (2009) TEffects of Musically-Induced Emotions on Choice Reaction Time Performance. The Sport Psychologist, 23, 1 - 19.

Drylund, A., & Wininger, S. (2008). The Effects of Music Preference and Excercise Intensity of Psychological Variables. Journal of Music Therapy, 2, 114 - 134.

Waterhouse J, Hudson P, & Edwards B (2010). Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance. Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports, 20 (4), 662-9 PMID: 19793214

This post has been viewed: 1913 time(s)

Blog Comments

Jason Goldman
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Do they speculate at all as to the mechanism that underlies the performance increase?

Psycasm
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
Well, they specify social explanations like increased motivations, arousal and affect. I guess that is a part-way explanation, but these papers were not addressing the validity of that model but were more interested in the outcomes (sports and music journals).
I'd love to see some neuroscience data, but that's going to be some tricky methodology...

Kelly Oakes
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
That's pretty interesting.

I don't like listening to music when i'm running, it feels like cheating for me too - probably because i'm trying to mentally push myself as much as i'm trying to physically push myself though. (Also I like to be aware of my surroundings so I don't get run over - running in London when you don't live near a park can be a bit of a nightmare sometimes).

Brian Krueger, PhD
Duke University
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I used to listen to music at the gym, but now I started working out with my Fiancee and I can't really "check out" while I'm there anymore. I definitely think the death metal helped me focus on the lifts, but I like having a workout buddy more ;)

Dr. O
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I listen to pretty heavy stuff on when I go running - White Zombie heavy - which I rarely listen to for pure enjoyment. I kind of wonder if I tend to focus more on my running form with something that isn't necessarily my cup of tea. I also find it interesting that the pace of the music affects exertion...now that I'm preggo and running a lot slower, I've started listening to more relaxing music, which definitely keeps me from pushing as hard.

Psycasm
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
In real life it's a bit harder to disentangle effect from choice; I think the really interesting question is why you've choosen to move from White Zombie to something more relaxed? Is it because you feel you can't 'keep up' with the music and so you changed, or was a conscious decision made before you went jogging to downgrade your music? I guess

Suzy
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike
I always have music on when I exercise. I find it is essential to keep my mind off the little things (pain, soreness, clothing not fitting comfortably, muscle spasms etc) and allows me to push myself far more than without.

It serves another purpose- when I am at the gym I don't want people talking to me. So even if I have it off, I have it on my head.
I don't want to be rude to other people so I can ignore everyone if it looks like I can't hear them.

I have had problems running on the roads with music and not hearing cars behind me, however.

When I compete in road races I don't use music because I prefer to be fully present. Also, many races do not allow music simply because the other runners can hear it.

White Zombie is one of my favorites (along with Metallica and Kid Rock).
I'll be seeing Rob Zombie perform live in a few days in fact. Am so looking forward to it!!!!

Steven

Guest Comment
This is really fascinating stuff! I work out with music about 50% of the time, especially during cardio and running. It doesn't surprise me AT ALL that this extra stimuli (superstimuli even?) pumps us up to perform better.

Sometimes it gives me the sensation that I am the star of my own movie, and the music serves as my soundtrack. I also agree with Jade Ed that it can help you ignore the minor pains and aches we feel, so we can persist past those obstacles.

I am definitely interested in hearing about any further research. Btw, I am also posting this article at reddit.com/r/fitness

Thanks again,
Steven

Psycasm
Rate Post:

Like 0 Dislike

For all the SEED Folk -

My bad for not being more clear - the tests for cycling did reach significance (from memory) between a number of levels, including the highest and the lowest. The graph itself just appears a little misleading.

 

Add Comment?
Comments are closed 2 weeks after initial post.
Friends