Unfounded authority, underpowered studies, and non-transparent reporting perpetuate the Mozart effect myth: a multiverse meta-analysis.

In recent years, an ostensible Mozart effect, suggesting beneficial influences of listening to the sonata KV448 on epilepsy, has been extensively covered in popular media outlets. However, the evidential value of such a potential effect seems unclear. Here, we present the first formal meta-analysis on this topic, based on k = 8 studies (N = 207). Further published studies that met our inclusion criteria had to be omitted due to insufficient reporting and author non-responsiveness on data requests. In three independent analyses, we observed non-significant trivial-to-small summary effects for listening to Mozart KV448 or other musical stimuli on epilepsy or other medical conditions (g range: 0.09-0.43). Bias and sensitivity analyses suggested that these effects were likely inflated and non-trivial effects were driven by isolated leverage points. Multiverse analyses conformed to these results, showing inconsistent evidential patterns. Low primary study power and consequently lacking evidential value indicates that there is only little reason to suspect a specific Mozart effect. In all, listening to music, let alone a specific kind of sonata, does not appear to have any beneficial effect on epilepsy. Unfounded authority, underpowered studies, and non-transparent reporting appear to be the main drivers of the Mozart effect myth.
AuthorsSandra Oberleiter, Jakob Pietschnig
JournalScientific reports (Sci Rep) Vol. 13 Issue 1 Pg. 3175 (03 06 2023) ISSN: 2045-2322 [Electronic] England
PMID36878928 (Publication Type: Meta-Analysis, Journal Article, Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't)
Copyright© 2023. The Author(s).
Chemical References
  • zaleplon
  • Acetamides
  • Auditory Perception
  • Auscultation
  • Acetamides
  • Group Processes

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