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Music can be heard before, during, and after sporting events all around the world, and while the explanation for this can dependent upon the type of athletic contest it is or whoever oversees the venue, there have been claims that music being played during sports participation can improve the performance of the athletes. There have been studies in the past that dispute such claims, but with more contemporary research now available it is worth readdressing the belief. This paper will examine the validity of the hypothesis by reviewing cognitive psychological literature on music and sports performance that support the theory, as well as their limitations.There are multiple pieces of literature that have put the relationship of music and sports performance to the test, and in some of the research there are implications that the tempo of music can positively affect the performance of athletes. For instance, Rendi et. al (2008) found a significant difference in the performance of rowers based on the on whether the athletes were listening to music as well as the tempo at which the music was played. By measuring time to completion (TTC), strokes per minute (SPM), and rated perceived exertion (RPE) combined with whether the athlete was listening to slow or fast tempo music the authors found rowers who listened to slow or fast paced music had shorter TTC those in the control group that did not listen to any music at all. Furthermore, the athletes that listened to the faster tempo music recorded higher SPM than those that rowed in the other two groups. The study by Rendi et. al suggested that the presence of music acted as a “psyching up” stimulus for athletes performing in a physically strenuous sport.Additional psychological literature makes a similar claim of improved physical performance of athletes when listening to music such as the study conducted by Ferguson et al. in 1994. The authors note that previous research between music and sports performance had yielded results that argued against the hypothesis of music improving the physical performance of athletes, although their research went on to contradict this trend. Ferguson et al’s study used a double-blind method with 14 participants from two martial arts schools who each went on to perform specific karate drills three times after listening to positive, negative, or white noise music. The results of this study did support the hypothesis of improved performance by athletes after listening to music for the participants who listened to either positive (M = 33.6, SD = 4.8) or negative music (M = 33.5, SD = 4.5) completed their tasks significantly more accurate compared to those in the control group that listened to white noise (M = 24.2, SD = 4.7; t =12.60, p< .0001). There was no significant difference between those that listened to positive music and those that listened to negative music. The participants were also asked to rate their own performance in which the authors found that those who listened to positive or negative music reported feeling more "relaxed" during the tasks than those that listened to white noise. Limitations of the study can be found in the sample size of the study; more than 14 participants may have found more precise results. Another limitation is the fact that the participants came from two different martial arts schools, in which different teaching conditions and styles may have altered some results in how the participants may have processed the music. Despite these limitations, Ferguson et al's study supports the hypothesis that athletes may "psych themselves up" for physical and mental activity by listening to music.While there is some research that supports the idea of that athletes may perform better with music, there are also studies that claim non-elite athletes also perform at an improvedcapability following or during the presence of music being played. Simpson and Karageorghis (2006) tested the effects of motivating music versus music that did not motive or demotivate on 20 male Caucasian participants in a 400-meter sprint. The authors formed hypotheses, the first being that the participants who listened to either form of music while running would outperform those that sprinted with no music. While the second hypothesis was that the volunteers that listened to the motivational music would record superior times than those who listened to oudeterous (neither motivating nor demotivating). The results of the study supported the first research question in which the authors did find that those who sprinted with motivational or oudeterous music had better results than the control group that participated without any music. The second hypothesis however, was not supported by the results. The implications of Simpson and Karageorghis' study support the theory that any type music does to some degree "psych up" sports participants for physical activity even if those participants are not elite athletes. Some limitations of this study were the lack of a diverse volunteer group, for it is possible that different ethnicities of participants may have been more representative of the general population.Now that the hypothesis of music improving athletic performance has been established as well as supported it, it is important to investigate why music improves the performance of athletes and the general population alike. Karageorghis and Terry attempted to answer this question in 1997 in a research study about the psychophysical of music in sports and exercise. The cognitive theoretical framework that was used in this study was proposed by Rejeski (1985), in which Rejeski detailed a "parallel-processing model". In this model Rejeski claims that sensory and affective information are preconsciously processed in parallel, thus filtering the information through focal awareness. With that being said Rejeski's theory suggests that sensory information such as the sense of effort when faced with a physically demanding task may be metwith affect responses during a workout. Overall Rejeski's proposes physiological cues are most prominent during high intensity work outs, but at a lower intensity music or other external cues may become the most influential. Now that the conceptual framework of Karageroghis and Terry's study has been examined, it is worth noting that when the authors cited Boutcher and Trenske (1990) Karageroghis and Terry found significant evidence of music increasing performance during affective states when exercising as a opposed to the workload. In terms what influence music has on the motor abilities of an individual the authors also found that when music is synchronized with physical activity the output of a person is increased (Michel and Wanner, 1975). Karagergoghis and Terry concluded their research by claiming that the literature did support the hypothesis of music having a positive effect on performance in exercise, but did spotlight some limitations such as studies not measuring things such as lyrics, tempo, and volume, as well as the lack of longitudinal studies.In conclusion, despite the past contradictory studies, there are multiple sources of scientific literature that support the hypothesis of music having a positive impact on sports participants, of all levels and abilities. The theoretical cognitive framework that this operates on has been proposed through Rejeski's parallel processing model, implying that music may offer additional motivation for greater physical output by a person during a strenuous activity (1985). This idea of "psyching up" has been supported in one way or another across multiple studies that support the hypothesis. The limitations of the current literature can be improved upon in future studies, by having more diverse participants, a wider variety of sports studies, as well as alternative conceptual frameworks for the cognitive basis of the hypothesis. Overall, it is important to continue to study this subject matter and to provide empirical evidence for the benefits of music to the human body and mind.Boutcher, S. H., & Trenske, M. (1990). The effects of sensory deprivation and music on perceived exertion and affect during exercise. Journal of sport and exercise psychology, 12(2), 167-176.ChicagoKarageorghis, C. I., & Terry, P. C. (1997). The psychophysical effects of music in sport and exercise: A review. Journal of Sport Behavior, 20(1), 54-68. Retrieved from, A. R., Carbonneau, M. R., & Chambliss, C. (1994). Effects of positive and negative music on performance of a karate drill. Perceptual and motor skills, 78(3_suppl), 1217-1218.Simpson, S. D., & Karageorghis, C. I. (2006). The effects of synchronous music on 400-m sprint performance. Journal of sports sciences, 24(10), 1095-1102.Rendi, M., Szabo, A., & Szabo, T. (2008). Performance enhancement with music in rowing sprint. The Sport Psychologist, 22(2), 175. Retrieved from, W., & Wanner, H. U. (1975). The effect of music on sports performance. Schweizerische Zeitschrift fur Sportmedizin, 23(3), 141.Chicago