Cognitive Abilities and the Effects on the Puzzle Sudoku
Sponsored by Missouri Western State University Sponsored by a grant from the National Science Foundation DUE-97-51113
Home |
The proper APA Style reference for this manuscript is:
PIERCE, A. A. (2007). Cognitive Abilities and the Effects on the Puzzle Sudoku. National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse, 10. Available online at Retrieved April 25, 2017 .

Cognitive Abilities and the Effects on the Puzzle Sudoku

Sponsored by: Brian Cronk (
This study was aimed at determining whether listening to impacted accuracy of speed while playing the game Sudoku. The participants of the study consisted of twenty college students all enrolled in sophomore level class. The students were divided into two different groups. One that listen to the music while doing the game Sudoku and the other group that didnít listen to music while doing the game. Both groups were given the rules to play the game and the game itself. There was no significant difference between the two groups

People listen to music everyday of their life; there is know where we can go without having to hear some type of music playing. We all have our favorite that we like to listen to, especially when we do activities that we enjoy doing the most; like exercising, cleaning house, working on the computer, doing homework, and the list goes on. Why is it that so many people listen to music? Does it simulate the mind and help them to focus on the activity that they are doing at that time, or do we listen to it because itís just what we like to do for the fun of it? Music seems to play an important rule in most peopleís lives. Schellenberg (2005) believes that music listening can lead to enhanced performance on a variety of tests of cognitive ability. Schellenberg (2005) goes on to say that music lessons improve intellectual ability in reading, mathematical, verbal and spatial abilities, Music listening can lead to short-term and long-term cognitive benefits. Is this why it is easier to remember a song but harder to remember something taught by a person? The effects of music on a person can vary depending on what type of music they are listening to and if they like that particular type of music. Recognition of familiar music is immediate and easy for every human being (Peretz 1996). Peretz (1996) says that studying the recognition of familiar music represents a unique opportunity to better understand the musical competence of the majority of people, and recognition can be expected to be associated with a fixed neural architecture; since it is a basic human skill that, unlike reading and composing of music, is shared by all members of a given culture listeners and performers of all ages. In the Oakes and North (2006) studies, they found the importance of awareness of music by underlining the cognitive and affective implication of altering just two components, tempo and timbre. They tested this on advertisements. They found that tempo and timbre did have and effects on ad recall. In this experiment, people were able to recall the ads because of the music, so, therefore, maybe that same effect is why listening to music can enhance cognitive abilities. The purpose of this study was to investigate if music affects a personís cognitive abilities playing the game Sudoku. To test cognitive abilities, both accuracy and time were examined.


participants consisted of twenty college students, both male and female were all enrolled in the same sophomore level psychology class.

The puzzle Sudoku was given to each participants after receiving rules on how to play the game. Mozart baby music was played while participants played Sudoku and

The class was divided into two different groups. Group A listened to music and group B had no music. Each group was given the rules on how to do the puzzle Sudoku, and then allowed a couple of minutes to read over how to do it before being give the actually game Sudoku. Each group was tested separately. After they were are handed the puzzle with four independent Sudoku puzzle the music begin to play for Group A. They were allowed to finish all four of the puzzles. After they finished they were asked to record their finished times down, and then asked if they had ever played Sudoku before. Group B followed the same procedure expect that after the puzzle was handed out they were not be given music to listen to.

An independent-sample t test was calculated comparing the mean of number of cells wrong on subjects that listened to music to the mean score of subjects that didnít listen to music. No significant difference was found (t (18) = .767, p > .05). The mean of subjects that didnít listen to music ( m = 16.0, sd = 24.5) was not significantly different from the mean of subjects that listen to music ( m = 18.8, sd = 10.7).An independent-sample t test was calculated also comparing the mean of speed of the subjects that listen to music to the mean of speed of subjects that didnít listen to music. No significant difference was found (t (16) = .361, p > .05). The speed of subjects that didnít listen to music ( m =342.00, sd = 191.7) was not significantly different from the mean of subjects that did listen to music ( m = 268.4, sd = 122.1).

The present findings fail to support the hypothesis that music affects a personís cognitive abilities when playing the game Sudoku. The findings of the experiment showed that there was no significant difference between the group that had music and the group that didnít have music. Consistent with pervious research, this study revealed that music listening can have the ability to enhanced performances; would the participants have been given a little more time. However, given data from this experiment the group that had music did not see much of a difference in cognitive abilities from the group that did not have any music such as Schellenberg proposed. One explanation for this is that were not given a lot of time to do the puzzle, and for ones that not played before they didnít quite understand how to do the puzzle, even though rules were given to them. Given that subjects consisted of only college students in future research the rules given should be a little bit clearer then what they were such as, actually a step by step process on how they are played. There were some subjects that didnít even try to do the puzzle. Therefore, in the future the puzzle should be not quite so easy. Also it may be best if the subjects are given more time to do the puzzle.

Oakes, S., & North, C. A. (2006). The Impact of Background

Musical Tempo and Timbre Congruity Upon Ad Content Recall and Affective

Response. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 20, 505-520.

Peretz, I. (1996). Can We Lose Memory for Music? A Case of

Music Agnosia in a Nonmusical. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, 8, 481.

Schellenberg, E. G. (2005). Music and Cognitive Abilities.

Current Directions in Psychological Science, 14, 317-320.

Submitted 4/26/2007 12:45:52 PM
Last Edited 4/26/2007 1:27:23 PM
Converted to New Site 03/09/2009

Rated by 0 users. Users who logon can rate manuscripts and write reviews.

© 2017 National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse. All rights reserved. The National Undergraduate Research Clearinghouse is not responsible for the content posted on this site. If you discover material that violates copyright law, please notify the administrator. This site receives money through the Google AdSense program when users are directed to useful commercial sites. We do not encourage or condone clicking on the displayed ads unless you have a legitimate interest in the advertisement.