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Frontiers in Educational Research, 2024, 7(4); doi: 10.25236/FER.2024.070406.

The Effect of Background Music with Lyrics on Human Decision-making Performance of Mental Arithmetic Task


Li Qihua1, Yang Zejun2, Li Lishi3

Corresponding Author:
Li Qihua

1Department of Behavior and Social Science, City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China

2School of Economics, Guangdong University of Finance and Economics, Guangzhou, China

3Department of Data Analytic, Business School, The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia


Music is frequently played in human daily-life, people always make decisions in the background music environment. This study conducts an online experiment questionnaire, made up of mental arithmetic questions and Positive and Negative Affect Schedule scale (PANAS), focuses on lyrics effect on decision-making and corresponding emotional arousal level. The results were based on the mental arithmetic task performance speed and accuracy rate to demonstrate participants made decisions slower but with no significant accuracy difference under background music with lyrics. Further exploring the gender difference in decision-making performance found females are more strongly influenced by lyrics than melody condition that they become much slower under lyrics background music, compared with males.


Background music, emotion lyrics, melody, decision-making, mental arithmetic task, speed, accuracy, male, female

Cite This Paper

Li Qihua, Yang Zejun, Li Lishi. The Effect of Background Music with Lyrics on Human Decision-making Performance of Mental Arithmetic Task. Frontiers in Educational Research (2024) Vol. 7, Issue 4: 35-46. https://doi.org/10.25236/FER.2024.070406.


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