Guest Post by Samuel Seidenberg:
Conclusion: For study time, skip the tunes. If you’re a software developer, leave the background music on to keep your productivity at its peak. To complement your new language acquisition, learn to play an instrument as well.
You may have first heard it from your middle school music teacher: “Listen to Mozart while you study, it’ll increase your IQ!” This oft repeated “fact” has origins in a 1993 study published in Nature, which showed that a person’s spatial reasoning skills temporarily improved while listening to Mozart.1 The study was soon misquoted in a New York Times article, and the rumor began to spread that classical music “makes you smarter” and can serve as a study aid.