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The Mozart Effect and Infant Intelligence Essay

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In modern society intelligence is highly competitive and subject to scrutiny; therefore, it is understandable that a child’s intelligence is a primary concern for many parents. The Mozart effect, popularised in the 1990s, resulted in many parents believing that simply exposing their child to music composed by Mozart would improve their intelligence (Campbell, 1997). The claim was founded by research published in the journal Nature, which suggested that spatial reasoning could be temporarily enhanced by listening to one of Mozart’s compositions for ten minutes (Rauscher, Shaw & Ky, 1993). It will be argued that there is not sufficient evidence to support the claim that playing Mozart to babies will increase their intelligence. Firstly, the various study results suggested no long-term enhancement, yet the Mozart effect implies a lasting effect on intellect. Experimental results have also been generalized, despite inconsistencies between the founding results and the Mozart effect. Another major element overlooked by the Mozart effect is that intelligence is complex and composed of many components.
The Mozart effect is falsifiable as the original study conducted by Rauscher et al (1993) proved no long-term improvement on intelligence. In the study participants were exposed the condition of silence, relaxation audio or Mozart’s sonata for two pianos in D major, followed by a spatial reasoning task from the Stanford-Binet intelligence scale (Rauscher et al, 1993). Despite the Mozart group yielding the most significant improvement in IQ scores (eight-nine points) and an increase in spatial reasoning, no permanent effect endured after testing had concluded (Rauscher et al, 1993). These findings render the Mozart effect questionable, as t...


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...interactions observes in natural home environments. American Psychological Association, 28(6). doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.28.6.1096
Hui, K. (2007). Mozart effect in preschool children?.
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Scarr, S., Weinberg, R.A. (1976). Intellectual similarities within families of both adopte and biological children. Intelligence, 1(2), 170-191. Retreived from http://www.elsevier.com
Sternberg, G. (2004) Music Lessons Enhance IQ.
Association for Psychological Science, 15(8), 51-514. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org.ezp01.library.qut.edu.au
Weinberg, R.A. (1989).
Intelligence and IQ: Landmark issues and great debates. American Psychologist, 44(2), 98-104. doi: 10.1037/0003-066X.44.2.98
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