A study was performed in 2017 and published in PLOS ONE by Simone Ritter from Radboud University in the Netherlands and Sam Ferguson from the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia. The study showed that listening to happy uplifting music will generate creative innovative solutions in comparison to silence.
Creativity plays a very important role in our world today. Creativity generates innovative ideas for a wide range of issues that are addressed with new ideas. One question that constantly arises, what promotes creative understanding?
This has been widely debated and studied and even though music has previously shown to benefit cognition, very little is known how listening to music really affects creativity.
A further study showed that researchers had 155 participants who completed a questionnaire and were then split into different groups. Each group listened to 4 different styles of music covering calm, sad, anxious, and happy, depending on their positive or negative emotions. High or low arousal was also taken into consideration and there was one group that just listened to silence.
Once the music started, the participants performed different tasks that would test their different and connecting creative thinking. Those who scored the highest had come up with the most creative, original solutions. Those who came in with a single possible solution to a given task scored higher in convergent creativity.
Researchers found that those who listened to classical music, or happy music, showed positive demeanor, high arousal, and promoted creativity thinking vs those in silence. The researchers believe that happy music may actually enhance flexibility in thinking.
In turn, additional solutions might not have been taken into consideration if the participants were in silence when trying to create.
The study clearly showed that creativity may be enhanced through music. Further research could reveal the different ambient sounds that may affect creativity and those participants of diverse cultures, different ages, and levels of musical knowledge.
The authors also believe that further studies may show that music could promote creative thinking for solutions that are inexpensive and efficient for different areas including scientific, educational, and organizational settings.