While we all know that listening to music can make any chore seem more pleasant, one recent study by in Israeli researcher that published in Psychology of Music, seems to prove that it can also influence our moral compass and entice us to participate in negative behavior.
The experiment involved 120 college students. Each of the students was asked to perform a task that involved underlining vowels for 90 seconds. Seventy-five percent of the students performed the task while listening to upbeat music, while one-quarter did it in silence. Then, with the music still playing, the researcher asked each student for a favor:
There is another student who came especially to the college today to participate in the study, and she has to do it because she needs the credit to complete her course requirements. The thing is, I don’t feel like seeing her. Would you mind calling her for me and telling her that I’ve left and she can’t participate?
Of the students, 65.5% of those listening to happy music agreed to make the call, while only 40% of those who worked in silence did.
The experiment was repeated, when a research assistant asked another group of participants to call a student who had been seriously ill and tell her that, contrary to earlier promises, she would not be receiving her course materials. The researchers assistant said she simply didn’t feel like giving them to her.
That time, more than 80% of those listening to music agreed, while only 13% in silence agreed.