Levels of Arousal in Positive Moods: Effects on Motor Performance

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The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, Vol: 6, Issue: 3

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Valencia, Carolina; Currier, Krista; Lindsay, Sarah; Lemperis, Pamela; Hughes, Titus; Sowers, Jeanne
WMU Department of Occupational Therapy; Department of Occupational Therapy in the College of Health and Human Services, Western Michigan University
mood; arousal; music; occupational therapy; Medicine and Health Sciences; Occupational Therapy
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Background: The use of simple preparatory methods, such as listening to relaxing music, may decrease negative emotions and enhance performance. The purpose of this research was to explore whether certain types of music, as a preparatory task, could enhance motor performance.Method: Fifty-six participants were randomly assigned to a condition before completing a pre and postdexterity test using the Purdue Pegboard Test (PPT). Performance was assessed with the PPT and arousal of mood was assessed with the Affect Grid. During the postdexterity test, the participants heard no music or specific music based on their condition. The experimental conditions included listening to an up-tempo Mozart sonata to elicit a high arousal, positive valence mood, or a down-tempo version of the same sonata to achieve a low arousal, positive valence mood.Results: ANOVAs showed a significant increase between pre and posttests over time in participant arousal and performance. In addition, there was a significant interaction term between performance and gender, where women improved significantly more than men.Conclusion: The results suggest that the up-tempo and down-tempo Mozart sonatas do not play a significant role in motor performance, yet gender significantly affects performance, regardless of the type of music.