Monthly Archives: August 2011

I Like Cue: Understanding the cues to depth perception

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Relative size

In this photo, Adi seems much, much smaller than Raisa is even though they have relatively the same height. This is due to the cue of relative size, which states that when two objects are of equal size, the farther one takes up less of your field of view than the nearer one, which results in our perception that it is smaller. Likewise, although the road is even, Adi seems to be elevated compared to where Raisa is standing. This is due to the cue of relative height, which states that objects below the horizon and have their bases higher in the field of view are seen as more distant. This is why Adi’s base (where her feet touch the ground) is higher in the picture than Raisa’s base.

Texture gradient

The tiles on the road are equally spaced around the acad oval. The distal tiles appear more closely packed together than the proximal ones. This effect or cue is the same as you walk around the sidewalk, as it provides invariant information to the observer.

Perspective convergence

This occurs when two parallel lines appear as converging as they extend. The bushes in the picture are actually planted in 2 parallel lines, but appear as though they are slanting towards each other.

Visual angle

In this photo, Adi seems to be attempting to drink from a giant cup! Although that is what it looks like, the photo only looks as such because of the concept of visual angle. The visual angle is the angle of an object relative to the observer’s eye. The cup seems as big or bigger than Adi because it is closer to the observer, increasing the visual angle and the size of the image on the retina.

Occlusion

The camera-shy Nikki tries to hide from the lens by staying farther away from the tree(right picture). Because she is partially hidden, we know that she is at a greater distance than the tree. This type of cue is what we call occlusion.  Looking at it in a different angle(left), we see that Nikki is far behind the tree. Occlusion gives us an idea about the relative distance of the tree and Nikki. Note, however, that we cannot tell their absolute distance from each other.

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Relaaakkk Lang!

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Sino ba namang hindi maiistress ngayon dahil sa eskuwela? Walang tigil ang pagdating ng mga pagsusulit at papel na kelangang isulat sa bawat subject. Masuwerte ka na kung makatulog ka ng limang oras. Kelangan ay sumisipsip ka pa ng kape tuwing may pagkakataon para lang hindi makatulog sa klase. Tingnan mo at ang lalaki na ng eyebags ng mga katabi mo. Marami ring online sa Y!M hanggang madaling araw.

Kung hindi abala sa kakareview, o pagsusulat, may kung anu-ano namang inaayos o ginagawa para sa mga org. Iba talaga ang mga iskolar ng bayan. Matatapang at matatalino. Walang takot kahit kanino. O kahit ano. Maging sa simula pa lamang ng school year tuwing enrollment hanggang sa pasahan ng mga huling requirement. Antok na antok na ko. Pero hindi. Deadline bukas. Laban!

Hindi naman imposibleng gawin ito. Kahit ilang beses na nating sinasabing, “mamatay na ‘ko” ay hindi naman ito nangyayari. Buhay pa rin tayo (at patuloy na nagrereklamo). Madaming paraan para kayanin ang lahat ng ‘to. Ang iba ay ginagawang outlet ang sports o pag eehersisyo. May mga pumupunta sa salon para magpagupit at magpaayos ng kuko. Ang iba naman ay nanonood ng mga pelikula kasama ang kanilang mga kaibigan para naman makapag relaks.

Isang mabisang paraan din ang pakikinig sa musika. Madami sa atin ang may iba’t ibang pinapakinggan, depende kung ano ang mood natin. Pag galit, heavy metal o mga kantang puro pagmumura. Pag inlove, mga love song na magagaan ang tono. Mahusay ang musika sa pagpaparamdam sa atin ng iba’t ibang emosyon. Kaya rin nitong makapagpakalma ng tao.

Minsan tuwing pagod na ako kakabasa ng mga readings ay nakikinig na lang muna ako ng mga kanta. Gumaganda ang pakiramdam ko habang ako ay nagpapahinga at nakikinig. Hindi ko rin kaya ang tuloy-tuloy na pagbabasa. Sa mga nakakakilala sa akin, alam nilang masyadong maikli ang attention span  ko para don. Kelangan ko ng pahinga paminsan minsan. O madalas. May mga pagkakataon pa ngang ito ang nagiging pampagising ko. Mabilis din kasi akong antukin.

May isang pag-aaral sina Labbe, Schmidt, Babin & Pharr (2007) tungkol sa epekto ng pakikinig ng musika sa pagpapababa ng lebel ng pagkabahala o anxiety. Pinasagot nila ang mga kalahok ng isang cognitive speed test upang sila ay mabalisa. Pagkatapos ay pinakinig sila ng musika. Ang iba ay nakinig sa classical music, ang iba naman ay sa heavy metal. May isang grupo na nakinig sa tugtog na, ayon sa kanila, ay nakakapagrelaks para sa kanila (self-choice). Ang iba  naman ay pinaupo lang nang walang kahit anong musika. Kinumpara nila ang lebel ng pagkabalisa at pagkarelaks bago makinig sa musika at pagkatapos nito. Nakitang mas bumaba ang pagkabalisa at tumaas naman ang pagkarelaks sa classical at musikang pinili ng mga kalahok kesa heavy metal o katahimikan lamang.

Hindi lang classical music ang nakakarelaks. Nagiiba-iba ang opinyon ng mga tao kung ano ang nakakapagpakalma o hindi. Gusto kong nakikinig sa mga kantang hindi masyado malakas tuwing nagpapahinga, tulad ng sa mga bandang Coldplay at Radiohead. Minsan naman ay OPM ang pinapatugtog. Depende lang lahat kung ano ang “matripan” sa panahon.

Malaking bahagi ng kabataan ang musika (Trcznski, 1994, nabanggit sa Labbe et al., 2007). Ang iba ay kumukuha ng inspirasyon mula rito. Maaring sa pag-ibig, o ‘di kaya sa kagusuthang mabuhay. Makikita (o maririnig) ito sa  lahat ng lugar. Minsan kahit sa isipan lang ay mga paulit ulit na tumutugtog na mga kanta. Mahalaga ang musika, tulad kung batong bato na ang tao. Binigyan ding kulay nito ang ating buhay. Ano ang UP fair ng walang mga banda? O ang Tap Tap kung walang tugtog? Pano na lang ang mga inuman kung walang gitara o karaoke? Pano na lang ipapahayag ni Lady Gaga ang kanyang mga saloobin tungkol sa panlabas na anyo, o di kaya ng The Beatles tungkol sa pag-ibig? Hindi ko yata lubusang maisip kung ano ang mangyayari sa atin kung walang musika (lalo na kung walang OPM, na para sa akin ay tunay na walang katapat). Paraan ito upang maghayag ng mga kaisipan at para rin makapagpayapa ng damdamin. Ang musika ay nakakapagbigay sa atin ng maraming bagay at pagkakataon, mula sa pagbibigay buhay sa mga madramang eksena hanggang sa pagmulat ng bayan.

Ano bang gagawin pag wala nang tugtugan? Hindi makakabuti kung lagi na lang akong puyat kakaaral at nasusuka sa ideya pa lamang nito. Madalas nagtataka ang mga kaklase ko kung bakit lagi akong “chill” at may oras para sa kung anu anong gawain. Sinisigurado kong hindi ako malulunod sa acads. Kelangang  tumakbo o maglaro paminsan. O di kaya’y humilata na lang at mag pumetiks, kumain ng corn chips habang nakikinig sa mga kanta.

Labbé, E., Schmidt, N., Babin, J., & Pharr, M. (2007). Coping with Stress: The Effectiveness of Different Types of Music. Applied Psychophysiology & Biofeedback, 32(3/4), 163-168. doi:10.1007/s10484-007-9043-9

The Traveler’s Playlist

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Traveling is one of the things I enjoy the most. I always look forward to going on out of town trips with friends and having out of the country adventures with family after a long, grueling and exhausting semester in school. This was the best form of relaxation.

However, there is another kind of travel that I rather not get my self into- commuting. I spend at least 3 hours a day traversing the busy and cramped Metro Manila roads five days a week. This is the dark side of traveling and I am just one of the millions who take public transportation every single day.

As I do this daily routine I can’t help but notice people’s behavior in these public transportation systems. People ride the MRT, LRT, buses, taxis, fxs, jeepneys, tricycles, and even pedicabs with their ears plugged into something. They walk, or even run on streets with their big headgears. Sometimes, there may seem more people tuned into their gadgets than those who aren’t.

With the advent of portable music players from the old school Walkman with cassette tapes, to the revolutionary iPods and the tinyest MP3 or MP4 or MP5 players, people got to listen to mobile music.  Anyone can choose their music and listen to it anytime, anywhere – and so, listening to music while traveling is not improbable. Music listening while traveling is just one situation where music accompanies everyday life. As for me, music is my buddy not only in my everyday commuting experience but also during the long and fun out of town trips.

So why do people choose to listen to music while traveling?

According to a 2010 study by Heye and Lamont entitled: Mobile listening situations in everyday life: The use of MP3 players while traveling, the primary goal of music listening while traveling is enjoyment, passing time and enhancing emotional state. Heye and Lamont focused on relatively short and purposeful traveling situations such as commuting. They conducted a Mobile Flyer Survey with 428 people (with an average age of 20 years old) in their campus. They actually had to stop people who were traveling while listening to music (indicated by people wearing headphones while walking around campus or riding a bus going onto campus). They then asked about the traveler’s listening experience and music choice.

create your own "auditory bubble"

Their results show that travelers create what previous studies call an “auditory bubble” in public spaces. Listening to music during travel, allows the person to exclude environmental sound and engage into the music of their choice, carving out their personal space. It is a form of escaping. Attention to the music of choice is high and thus it does not only serve as a “background”.

However, music listening is also navigating. Listeners can still switch their attention rapidly to the external environment. The findings say this auditory bubble is partly permeable and music also enhances awareness of the surroundings. Through the choice of soundtrack, people mediate their perceptions by selectively attending to certain environmental stimuli, creating their own experience of the city (Simun, 2009). This makes people more receptive to certain parts of the surroundings.

Heye and Lamont’s study along with previous studies on this topic do not only validate why I choose and why I think most Filipino commuters choose to listen to music while traveling. It also gave me a different perspective on these reasons. Having music while traveling does not only ease boredom but it is also an active process in which I can escape and create the environment through the songs in my playlist. I create my own permeable auditory bubble. My perceptions of the world while commuting are affected by the music that flows through my ears.

With these new ideas, I might just download happy travel music in my iPod in order to create a lighter, more fun atmosphere of the dark side of traveling. Maybe I can turn my daily commuting experience to an experience like my relaxing out of town sembreak trips.

Heye, A., & Lamont, A. (2010). Mobile listening situations in everyday life: The use of MP3 players while travelling. Musicae Scientiae, 14(1), 95-120.

Simun, M. (2009). My music, my world: Using the MP3 player to shape experience in London. New Media & Society, 11(6), 921-941. doi:10.1177/1461444809336512

So… What kind of music are you into?

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Whenever two people meet for the first time, one of the things normally brought up as a point of conversation is music. A person usually asks what kind of music the other one is into to see if they have anything in common. I myself have experienced this and have also used music a few times as a conversation starter. However, sometimes when I am asked about music that I like, I become a bit conscious of what to say because it becomes an attribute by which I could be judged. During a soiree back in high school (yes, I am embarrassed to say that I did in fact attend those silly high school soirees), a guy asked me what music I was into. When I told him I really liked The Killers, his eyebrow shot up and he asked “Really?” Yes really, I do like them, do you have a problem with that? But, alas, I was not able to say that. Instead I just gave a sheepish smile and pretended to enjoy the rest of the conversation with that stupid guy.

I guess this is similar to how that soiree conversation went.

Although I felt that that guy was pretty judgmental of the music that I listen to, I guess I tend to act the same way sometimes. When I see Facebook statuses about how sad someone is over the price of a Taylor Swift concert ticket, I think to myself “She likes Taylor Swift??” This is similar to the way I think about those really bad bossa nova covers of mainstream songs like Single Ladies and Firework. The minute they come on over the radio, I switch the station and think who in their right minds would listen to that. Likewise, I always make fun of the band Cueshe because I think they are very “jologs”. Indeed, while the music that we listen to can give a glimpse of what kind of person we are, it may also be a way for other people to label us.

I'm not really into Taylor Swift, sorry.

Cueshe: Jologs?

In a discursive approach study done by Ivaldi and O’Neill (2009), they were able to explore how adolescents construct the notion of social status and being privileged through discussions about musician role models. Pictures of several musician role models were asked to be grouped based on who the participants were familiar and unfamiliar with, and then based on who they liked and disliked (based only on pictures for those that were unfamiliar). The list included Britney Spears, Craig David, Madonna, Hear’say, Jennifer Lopez, Eminem, Westlife, Robbie Williams, Elvis Presley, Jimi Hendrix, Vanessa-Mae, Luciano Pavarotti, Charlotte Church, Evelyn Glennie, Beethoven, Nigel Kennedy, Mozart, Jane Glover, and Guy Johnston. After which, each participant was given information about the musicians and a focus group discussion was held.

The study was done in England, and so the discussions focused on Robbie Williams, a popular British pop star, and Guy Johnston, an award-winning cellist who none of the participants were familiar with. The results of the discussion showed that the notion of privilege was constructed in four emergent themes, namely (1) wealth, education, and higher social status; (2) “posh” versus “common” accent; (3) age and opportunity; and (4) family values. The study centered on the concept of social identity, social comparison, and the presence of in- and out-groups.

the cool and charismatic Robbie Williams

the posh and promising Guy Johnston

The adolescent participants associated themselves more with Robbie Williams, whose picture was of himself in jeans and a t-shirt. They noted the fact that he had a Stoke accent, but a participant commented that it was a shame that his Stoke accent could be heard “because we’ve got such a common accent, it sounds awful”. They also brought up his fight with drugs and considered how much work he put into making a comeback afterwards. On the other hand, they considered Guy Johnston as very different from themselves because he is very “posh” and privileged. His picture was of himself in a traditional concert suit and holding his cello. The participants even likened him to Prince William and Prince Harry, and concluded that he must have been from a very rich family because “he probably would have started when he was about six” and “if you’re playing the cello when you’re six it just seems like you know, you’re really posh”. Although some of the participants themselves were playing instruments, they considered Guy Johnston as very different from themselves and generally considered themselves part of the out-group rather than the in-group or the privileged group. Overall, the findings suggest that the way adolescents interpret musical behavior is based on what it means to be privileged. In addition, the findings have implications in engagement in musical involvement. Because of the notion of privilege in musical attainment, there may be a barrier in expectations and aspirations to achieve a similar level of musical expertise.

Personally, I find it interesting that based on music and on the appearance of musicians, we are able to construct a perceived notion of otherness. Because a person plays the cello, he is immediately perceived as very rich, “posh”, and different from ourselves. This perceived notion of otherness then affects how people view themselves and the social groups they belong to. Also, one of the notable things about this study is that in the English setting, the adolescents try hard not to classify themselves with the privileged class because they are too posh and high-class. Perhaps this also happens with us in the Philippines (and elsewhere) because we also do not associate ourselves with groups that are into classical music, but the general trend is that we try more to veer away from the underprivileged class or those who like bad music. The fear of being judged based on the music we listen to is that we might be labeled as having bad taste.

OR MAYBE... He does not perceive a heightened sense of otherness, and is open to all kinds of music.

Therefore, this perceived otherness in privilege and musical taste provides a barrier not only in musical attainment, but in overall exposure to music as well. Because we wish to stay within our own social groups, staying away from music or people that are too high-class as well as from people who are underprivileged or tasteless, we give ourselves a limit to the music that we listen to and enjoy. For example, I was told (and based on some songs I’ve heard on the radio, I have also heard for myself) that Gloc 9 is a really good rapper and that his songs are very well-written. He writes about things that have depth and sense and that reflect life in the Philippines. But because I am not into rap and because there is a bit of a stigma in Philippine rap music, I don’t think I’ve given Gloc 9 a chance and still laugh at his songs sometimes. Maybe it’s time to give other music a chance rather than stay away from it just because of what others think. We must refrain from being judgmental and be open in order to enjoy and appreciate all kinds of music.

Ivaldi, A. & O’Neill, S. (2009). Talking “privilege”: barriers to musical attainment in adolescents’ talk of musical role models. British Journal of Music, 26:1, 43-56.

Blame it on the Alcohol?

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If you’re above 18 and reading this blog entry, I’m sure you’ve already had at least one alcoholic drink in your 18+ years of existence.

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No?

Not even one sip?

Boy you need to get a life.

Just kidding.

But seriously though.

Alcohol- in one way or another, has been a significant part of each college student’s life. Admit it, it’s true. Whether you drank too much, too little or not at all during your college days, I’m pretty sure alcohol was around. I would say that the some of the most interesting stories come from those drinking sessions with your friends- when you got too wasted to drive yourself home, when your friend told your other friend that you like him/her, when YOU told your friend that you liked him/her, when your friend started crying over a recent break-up. You know, the usual.

http-::media.tumblr.com:tumblr_ln7r5kGgR81qhe427

After years of being in the college scene, I’ve always wondered what factors made kids pick up more bottles and finish them more quickly. Well besides using these factors as tactics to get your friends drunk and dishing out dirt from them once they already are, factors that increase the consumption of alcohol have always fascinated industries such as liquor companies and also college students in general.

I just recently discovered that MUSIC is a major participant in each drinking session. This fact is somehow obvious considering that all beer joints have their stereos on full blast as soon as costumers walk in. A study by Drews et.al. mentions that male beer drinkers consume significantly more alcohol in the presence of background music than without it. In fact, several researchers have dissected different elements of music and studied their effects on alcohol consumptions. These elements would include: tempo, volume and the genre of music.

One element’s effect in the rate of alcohol consumption was particularly studied by Gueguen et. al. back in the year 2008. They investigated on the effect of the volume level of music played in a bar on alcohol consumption. Gueguen and his colleagues carried out this experiment in a naturalistic setting- in two separate bars, each of which were regarded to be well-known, with 40 male participants.

They allotted three Saturday nights for their experiments. To maintain the naturalistic nature of the study, they only considered those costumers who sat in the same table and ordered a glass of draft beer. The participants occupying the table must be two or more. Otherwise, they were not analyzed. Before observation, the experimenters adjusted the volume levels of the music playing at both bars- one bar had their speakers on 72dB and the other at 88dB. Both bars were playing top 40 songs. The observers where then situated at two different bars, recording data.

This research shows that increased volume levels of background music exhibit a significance increase in the speed of alcohol consumption and an increase in alcohol intake. Generally, it was observed that in the bar with louder background music, groups of people ordered more alcoholic drinks and finished them more quickly.

In other words: the louder the background music is while you drink, the higher your chances of getting your friend drunk, thereby increasing your chances of getting stuff out of your friend.

Or you can also put it this way: Run as soon as you pick up the dirt, because the bill will most probably be pretty high. But I’m sure you wouldn’t do this because you a decent person with a good heart who takes care of their drunk friends.

            The researchers note two possible explanations to this phenomenon- the first of which would be what they call the “arousal hypothesis” and the second would be inclined to social psychology. The “arousal hypothesis” states that higher sound levels would lead to higher arousal, which would correspond to faster and drinking and more alcohol consumption. Through the second hypothesis, the researchers were able to focus on the negative effect of the presence of loud music on social interaction, and its effects on alcohol consumption. They mentioned that higher levels of music would decrease social interaction, hence increasing drinking behavior.

Having mentioned the probable explanations, it looks like increasing volume levels of background music in bars or drinking joints has its pros and cons.

            PROS: you friend will most likely get drunk quickly= higher chances of dishing out chismis

            CONS: social interaction will be limited= less chances of your friend actually sharing chismis with you because you both will probably be too busy drinking.

Okay. I guess my intentions for consuming alcohol are quite obvious already. But it’s surprising how powerful and influential environmental factors are to human behavior. Cliché, I know. But even the slightest signals can tickle your senses, and actually compel you to perform behaviors that might even probably be unconscious.

I have had my fair share of visits to several drinking joints but I never actually thought about the relationship of music levels to alcohol consumption. Now it got me thinking… what else can music make people do??

Gueguen, N., et.al. (2008). Sound Level of Environmental Music and Drinking Behavior: A Field Experiment With Beer Drinkers. Research Society on Alcoholism, 32 (10), 1-4. Retrieved from  http://www.icd.go.cr/sitio/downloads/uploads/web_icd_pdf/pub_2/pub_2_65.pdf

Earphones as your jogging buddy

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In my first years in the University, I have experienced and proven for myself that the freshman 15 exists. Freshman 15 was the term to refer to the phenomenon experienced by students in their first years in college wherein they gain weight. From having a bony and slim face back in high school, my cheeks became chubbier and fuller in just my first semester in uni. I’ve also added an extra 5 kilos. It didn’t help that my university was a food haven and food tripping can be done any time of the day.  Aside from being a food destination where one can easily gain weight and add an extra flab with the different not-so-healthy-but-heck-it’s-so-good food choices, the  university is also frequently visited by those from the opposite side of the continuum- the health conscious. Being open to the public, joggers from all walks of life come to the academic oval to sweat out their week’s weight gain and to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

If Papa Piolo would be my jogging buddy, I am willing to jog all day!

Joggers and runners have become a common sight in the university and they have become part of its culture already. People from different background- students, working professionals and even celebrities-  jog, run, walk  and trot along the 2.2- kilometer oval. They do their thing in their own comfortable pace and number of rounds. As someone who jogs in her free time still trying to get rid of the freshman 15, it is also interesting to observe the jogging related fashion of other joggers. Others jog in their singlets with the name of the fun runs they’ve been to while there are those who simply prefer to be in regular  t-shirts. Others wear their matching outfits with either three stripes or a swoosh. Along with these gears that are necessary for jogging, a common accessory of these joggers are their earphones blasting  their workout playlist. This makes me wonder what those earphones are for- are they simply a jogging- related fashion statement?

Apparently, they are more than just that. The music coming from these earphones affect the exercise performance of individuals. That is according to a study by Edworthy and Waring (2006). The two investigated the effects of tempo, loudness and presence of background music on running speed, heart rate, and affect.

The speed and loudness of the music from the woman's earphones affect her running speed, heart rate and affect.

In their study, they asked their volunteers to perform 5 10-min workout sessions on a treadmill while listening to 4 different music conditions- fast/loud, fast/quiet, slow/loud, slow/quiet- and a control which is the no music condition. They monitored the exercise performance and subjective parameters of the participants and compared them across the five different conditions.

Their results showed that the speed of the music has the most effect on the speed and heart rate of the participants: faster tempo results to faster speed and heart rate. It was also observed that the temp0 and the volume have an interacting effect on performance but the volume alone does not have an effect. That is, if fast music is played loudly, the speed and heart rate of the participant increases. However, this effect does not apply to slow music. The study also showed that music has an effect on the affect of the participant. Participants enjoyed the activity more when they were listening to a background music- in whatever tempo or volume- than when they were not.

The difference in the effect of tempo and volume may be attributed to the nature of the task. Running and jogging are said to have a synchronous nature. Because of this, runners and joggers try to pace themselves in tune with the music they’re listening to. Loudness on the other hand, was said to have an effect more on asynchronous task but not so much on something like running.

This study has very promising findings that can be applied and used by joggers, runners and even those who despise working out (those who’d rather be in the isaw and fishball stalls around the campus than sweat out in the acad oval). Runners can use music to their advantage to help them pace themselves and achieve their target speed for their next fun run. With music, amateurs can now also enjoy working out as much as they enjoy eating. Hopefully, the university will now be  more than just a food destination for them but also a venue for their daily workout and healthier lifestyle.

References:

Eworthy, J. & Waring, H. (2006). The effects of music, tempo and loudness level on treadmill exercise. Ergonomics, 49(15), 1597-1610.

Images from:

http://jaraaa.tumblr.com/post/792614099/papa-piolooooo-not-hahaha-okay-i-must

http://www.123rf.com/photo_5237267_person-young-beautiful-woman-listening-music-running-jogging-in-city-street.html


					

Of Cliches and Make Believes

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“The sound of your voice is music to my ears”. A cliche that we have heard so many times before from people who don’t mean it more than half of the time. It’s one of those “pick-up” lines that make us feel giddy and tingling up inside. But what’s so good about being “music to the ears?” Is music really THAT special?

To me, and to most of the people that I know, music is something that could set the tone of a certain social situation. Let’s put this into perspective: when you watch romantic films, and you get to that point where boy confesses love to girl, isn’t there always a melancholic, slow background music somewhere in the scene? Eh? Try to imagine that same exact scene with punk rock or heavy metal music in the background, do you think that may also end up well? I don’t think so.

That was something that I got curious about when I got across this article entitled “The Influence of Background Music on the Behavior of Restaurant Patrons” by  Ronald Milliman. The study basically determined the effect of two different types of music-fast or slow tempo on eating and drinking behavior of patrons and  length of time they stayed in the restaurant. Results showed that in the slow tempo music condition,patrons stayed longer, ate about the same amount of food, but consumed more alcoholic beverages. Evidently, the slower, perhaps more soothing background music created a more relaxing environment as compared to the fast-tempo music.

This was very interesting because it seemed like I am suffering from “inattentional deafness” because I never realized that this phenomenon was true up until now. Yes, it is a big plus that restaurants play music to make customers feel more at ease, but it is just now that I truly appreciated how it may make or break a dining experience. For example, I have been always curious at why “The Chocolate Kiss” and ROC bring in pianists and guitarists to play every dinner service when they could just stream music coming from the radio. It would be less expensive, and they wouldn’t have to fuss about the scheduling of the musicians. But now, come to think of it, whenever I dine in Chocolate Kiss and that sexy piano music comes to life, it seems like it heightens my senses, especially my sense of taste. Great music makes dining out not just a way to fill my stomach, but an experience-something that I would look back to in the future and say,”Heck, that was a pretty awesome meal”. 🙂

Milliman, R.E. (1986). The Influence of Background Music on the Behavior of Restaurant Patrons. Journal of Consumer Research, 13(2), 286-289.