A new study reports some scientific evidence that listening to happy music on a regular basis will help to pump up creative juices. Creativity is considered as one of the key competences in our complex, fast-changing world, and it is the driving force in generating scientific, technological and cultural innovations for a wide range of problems with fresh ideas. The research was carried out by Simone Ritter (Radboud University, Netherlands) and Sam Ferguson (University of Technology Sydney, Australia) and the study was published in the open access journal PLOS ONE.
Divergent thinking is a process of creating many unique solutions to solve a problem. Unlike convergent thinking which is systematic and logical, divergent thinking is spontaneous and free-flowing. To study, how happy music enhances divergent thinking, researchers had 155 participants and divided them into experimental groups. Each group listened to 1 of 4 different music types – calm, happy, sad and anxious. The music had an emotional valence (positive or negative) and arousal (high or low). The music with high arousal and positive valence was called “happy music”; high arousal and negative valence was called “anxious music”; positive arousal music was called “calm music”; negative arousal music was called “sad music” and control group listened to silence.
Finally, the researchers found that participants listening to happy music came up with most original and useful solutions in various cognitive tasks and scored higher in overall divergent creativity score.