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The Mozart Effect

A Psychological Research Methods Case



Author:

Lisa D. Hager
Psychology Department
Spring Hill College
lhager@shc.edu

Abstract:

In this case study, students are given information regarding an advertisement claiming that listening to the classical music in the advertised CD set will enhance a person’s cognitive skills and creativity. Students evaluate the claims and the evidence cited to support them, and then determine how they themselves might independently verify the claims. The case combines several approaches, including a directed case approach with the use of journal articles combined with lecture, individual assignments, and small group work. It was developed for a research methods course in psychology.

Objectives:
  • Identify and critically evaluate the claims being made in an advertisement.
  • Determine how to independently verify the claims.
  • Compare and contrast a scientific approach with a non-scientific approach.
  • Design and evaluate an experiment to test the claims.
  • Read and analyze the components of scientific reports investigating a phenomenon similar to the one described in the ad.
  • Consider whether one can rely on advertised claims.
Keywords: Research methods; experimental design; repeated measures design; within-subjects design; principle of falsifiability; operational definition; independent variable; dependent variable; control procedure; classical music; Mozart
Topical Area: Scientific argumentation, Scientific method, Science and the media
Educational Level: High school, Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Interrupted, Directed, Journal Article
Language: English
Subject Headings: Psychology  
Date Posted: 03/16/04
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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