The effects of music choice on task performance: a study of the impact of self-selected and experimenter-selected music on driving game performance and experience

Gianna Cassidy, Raymond A.R. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Music listening in everyday life tends to accompany the completion of other everyday activities in a highly personalised manner. However, music and task performance studies have tended to be experimenter-centred and contextually isolated, largely independent of the listener's music practices and preference. The present study adopted a listener-centred approach to compare the effects of self-selected and experimenter-selected music (high and low arousal), on concurrent activity performance and experience. 125 participants completed three laps of a driving game in either (i) silence (ii) car sounds alone; car sounds with the addition of (iii) self-selected music, (iv) High-Arousal music or (v) Low-Arousal music. Three performance measures (accuracy-collisions, time-ms, and speed-mph) and 5 experience measures (distraction, liking, appropriateness, enjoyment, and tension-anxiety) were taken.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)357-386
Number of pages30
JournalMusicae Scientiae
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2009



  • music choice
  • psychology
  • task performance
  • game performance

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