About a year ago I did an informal study of how university students use playlists to enhance everyday experiences and performances. This included listening to a personalized list of songs while studying, playing video games, exercising, doing something creative such as drawing or problem framing and relaxing. I surveyed or interviewed 42 students at two major universities in the US Midwest. The results were interesting and convinced me that playlist construction and use is a relevant area for cognitive designers. So I am always on the lookout for research into playlists.
For example, Scientific American has a recent post about the role of playlist in the Psychology of Effective Workout Music. They site research that reveals:
“Music distracts people from pain and fatigue, elevates mood, increases endurance, reduces perceived effort and may even promote metabolic efficiency. When listening to music, people run farther, bike longer and swim faster than usual—often without realizing it.”
They also provide some advice on how to construct a playlist. Focus on songs you like, have a beat that makes your body want to move and that invoke a strong emotional response. No surprises here but it can take some effort to find music that puts and keeps you in the zone for exercising. Just Google ”workout playlist” if you want some examples.
I am interested to hear from readers that have examples of how playlists can enhance experience and performance.
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