Date of Award

12-2017

Degree Name

Master of Music

Department

Music

First Advisor

Dr. Edward A. Roth

Second Advisor

Dr. David S. Smith

Third Advisor

Dr. Stephen M., Tasko

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Richard W. Johnson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until

12-15-2019

Abstract

The purpose of this thesis project is to assess the arousal hypothesis by implementing an auditory stimulus (music) at various times during a task (Verbal Processing section of the GRE) to analyze changes in arousal, as measured by electrodermal activity (EDA). Testing is administered for one hour with music implemented before testing and twice during testing. EDA levels are used to measure physiological response and are collected over the one hour testing period. For analysis, testing material is broken into different time blocks to assess arousal levels through mean slope, mean skin conductance level (SCL), mean skin conductance response (xSCR), and mean number of peak SCR (nSCR). Results indicate that the beginning of testing display significantly greater means for all EDA measures compared to the end of testing, suggesting a decay effect in arousal during testing. On average, periods of music exposure result in significantly higher SCR means compared to testing periods that occur without music. These results support the arousal hypothesis and have the potential to steer future research in music and cognition and cognitive performance.

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