Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. John E. Nangle

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


An experiment was designed to study the effects of music on the quality of inspection performance, job attitudes, and observed frequency of non-work related conversations of workers engaged in a complex, repetitive industrial inspection task in a pharmaceutical company. Three middle-aged inspectors volunteered to participate in the ABAB designed experiment. Musical selections by Muzak and Mantovani were played via portable stereo cassette players with headphones. Quality was measured by testing subjects on two sets of 1,000 test vials with 10% planted defects and recording the number of false rejects and the percent of false acceptances. Certain job attitudes were measured from interviews and the frequency of non-work related conversations was measured by observations of the investigator. Results showed that while subjects were highly in favor of music and talked less during music, there was little change, for the most part, in measured quality for subjects.