Effects of Musically-Induced Emotions on Choice Reaction Time Performance

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Daniel T. Bishop Brunel University

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Costas I. Karageorghis Brunel University

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Noel P. Kinrade Brunel University

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The main objective of the current study was to examine the impact of musically induced emotions on athletes’ subsequent choice reaction time (CRT) performance. A random sample of 54 tennis players listened to researcher-selected music whose tempo and intensity were modified to yield six different music excerpts (three tempi × two intensities) before completing a CRT task. Affective responses, heart rate (HR), and RTs for each condition were contrasted with white noise and silence conditions. As predicted, faster music tempi elicited more pleasant and aroused emotional states; and higher music intensity yielded both higher arousal (p < .001) and faster subsequent CRT performance (p < .001). White noise was judged significantly less pleasant than all experimental conditions (p < .001); and silence was significantly less arousing than all but one experimental condition (p < .001). The implications for athletes’ use of music as part of a preevent routine when preparing for reactive tasks are discussed.

Bishop, Karageorghis, and Kinrade are with the School of Sport and Education, Brunel University, West London, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH, England, UK.

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