One way that you can test for concentration
is by using methods from mind-wandering
experiments. A researcher at UC Santa Barbara
investigates mind-wandering. I'll give an
example of his methods, and you can adapt them
based on your research question:
1. Participant is told he or she will be
reading a passage from a book for 30 minutes.
I don't know exactly what question you're
interested in asking, but here's one way you
could test the effect of music on concentration:
2. Participant is told about what mind
wandering or "zoning out" means. This is their
script: "At some point during reading, you
realize that you have no idea what you just
read" and "not only were you not really thinking
about the text, you were thinking about
something else altogether."
3. Participant is told to press a key on
the computer whenever they catch themselves
4. Participant is also prompted every 2 to
4 minutes during reading with the question "Are
you zoning out?" and they must indicate "yes"
use the methods above, but have one group
read in silence and the other group read with
music playing. See which group experiences mind
wandering more often!
Methods from: Sayette, M. A.; Reichle, E. D.;
Schooler J. W. Psychological Science 2009, 20
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