Preston G. Williams
Honors in Psychology: Distraction and Mood Effects of Music on Exercise Performance and Perceived Exertion
Two experiments were conducted to investigate distraction and mood mechanisms that may underlie musicís effects on exercise. Experiment 1 assessed the effects that rock music, polka music, and no music had on exercise performance, mood, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). When listening to rock music, participants rode an exercise bike farther, had lower RPE, and higher mood ratings than when listening to polka music or no music. In Experiment 2, listening to rock music did not enhance exercise performance or lower RPE relative to noise, and manipulating distraction (focus on music or noise, focus on body sensations) did not differentially affect performance or RPE. Together these experiments suggest that mood may be the principal mechanism by which music influences exercise performance; however, distraction does not seem to be the mechanism by which music affects perceived exertion.