|Need inspiration? Happy background music can help get the creative
juices flowing. Researchers from Radboud University in the Netherlands
and the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia have been studying
the effect of silence and different types of music on how we think.
They put 155 volunteers into five groups. Four of these were each given
a type of music to listen to while undergoing a series of tests, while
the fifth group did the tests in silence. The tests were designed to
gauge two types of thinking: divergent thinking, which describes the
process of generating new ideas, and convergent thinking, which is how
we find the best solutions for a problem.
The team found that people were more creative when listening to music
they thought was positive, coming up with more unique ideas than the
people who worked in silence. However, happy music only boosted
divergent thinking. No type of music helped convergent thinking,
suggesting that it’s better to solve problems in silence.
The findings could be used to enhance creative thinking in places like
educational institutions or laboratories. Happy music may work because
it is more stimulating, so boosts divergent thinking by arousing the
brain, according to the researchers.