Science Says Listening To AC/DC Messes Up Men’s Concentration Levels

But studies show it has no impact on women

Science Says Listening To AC/DC Messes Up Men's Concentration Levels

by Lydia O'Malley |
Published on

Boxing day and it’s time to bring out the board games. You put a strong case forward for Operation against your cousin whose claiming Cluedo is a classic. You win. But now you’re up against three year running champion Uncle Steve. The only chance of success is to whack on Back In Black by AC/DC.

Yep, you heard it. AC/DC. According to Imperial College London and the Royal College of Music, classical and rock music can affect a man’s performance, for better and worse. They found that a classical track can enhance concentration and motivation, whereas rock does the opposite.

The study took place earlier this year when researchers asked 352 attendees of the science showcase, Imperial Festival, to play the game Operation whilst listening to either AC/DC, Mozart or the sound of an operating theatre. When listening to Mozart, men made 28 mistakes, compared to 36 when AC/DC was on. However, when enjoying the track, they made fewer mistakes. So if your Uncle is a die-hard AC/DC super fan… maybe avoid.

Female participants experienced zero effect but took longer to complete the game. One theory suggests rock music has a negative effect to men because of male-specific auditory stress. Remind you of man flu, anyone?

Daisy Fancourt, lead author of the research from the Centre for Performance Science at the Royal College of Music, said that music is usually played in operating rooms, and although Operation is no reflection of real life, it is important to understand the effect.

So if you find yourself waking up in the middle of surgery surrounded by male doctors listening to AC/DC… panic.

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This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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