Correlation between work concentration level and background music: A pilot study

Yi Nuo Shih, Rong Hwa Huang, Han-Sun Chiang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


It is a common phenomenon for office workers {to listen to music} while executing daily routines at their desks. The aim of this study was to investigate the correlation between work concentration level and background music. This research would first follow examples in previous researches, and then explore the influence of background music on participants' scores on attention tests. We hope to gain a preliminary understanding of the possible influence of background music on people's focus and concentration when doing work. Thirty-two college students were separated into three controlled groups; all were given the attention test. Group [a] listened to background music while being tested for 10 minutes; group [b] had no background music at all; and group [c] listened to the music for 10 minutes prior to the attention test. The test was conducted in a "noise free" environment. The means and error rates for each group were then calculated. The findings showed that, in comparison with "no music at all", those who listened to music prior to testing obtained higher scores in attentiveness (most probably a supplemental effect of the music), whereas those who listened to music during attention test showed extremely high level of variation in attention test scoring. Background music does affect people's job-site behavior. In fact, all three test conditions - no background music at all, background music before the work shift, and background music during work - have affected worker performance on different levels.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-333
Number of pages5
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • "Piped-in" music
  • Attention test
  • Occupational form
  • Occupational performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Rehabilitation


Dive into the research topics of 'Correlation between work concentration level and background music: A pilot study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this