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The "Mozart Effect" ― Fact or Fiction?

Recently, the idea that listening to classical music can increase intelligence, especially in babies, has caught the attention of the media, researchers, and parents around the globe. In the early 1990s, researchers from France and the US published articles that said listening to Mozart for 10 minutes temporarily improved performance on IQ tests and challenging tasks. As a result, the media quickly began reporting on the "Mozart effect."

In 1997, Don Campbell patented the term and published a book about this interesting phenomenon. Campbell claimed that classical music could improve health and memory, counteract mental and physical disorders, and reduce stress and depression. He soon followed with The Mozart Effect for Children, as well as CDs and products for parents of young children. Today, a wide selection of similar products is available, including Baby Mozart and Baby Bach, two bestselling DVDs in the popular Baby Einstein series. There are even music players specially designed for expectant mothers to wear on their tummies. This way, babies can listen to classical music before they're even born.

However, there is some doubt surrounding the Mozart effect. Parents question whether it is a proven reality or just a fad designed to make money. Frances H. Rauscher, a psychologist and author of one of the original studies, is skeptical. Much of the original research pointed to temporary improvements on specific tasks. She believes these findings have been incorrectly portrayed as a general increase in intelligence. "I don't think it can hurt," Rauscher said. Yet she added that parents may still want to think twice before spending a fortune trying to make a genius out of their baby.

     
  1.

According to the article, what is meant by the Mozart effect?

       
    (A) Special DVDs can help teach a child to play musical instruments.
    (B) Researchers can determine a child's intelligence by studying musical ability.
    (C) Singing to an unborn child may inspire a love of classical music.
    (D)

Listening to classical music may increase intelligence, especially in babies.

       
  2.

Which of the following did NOT spread the popularity of the Mozart effect?

       
    (A) Media stories about the Mozart effect.
    (B) Books on intelligence and classical music.
    (C)

Interviews with successful Mozart effect babies.

    (D) CDs, DVDs, and devices using the Mozart effect.
       
  3.

Most recently, researcher Frances H. Rauscher _____.

       
    (A)

expressed doubt about the Mozart effect

    (B) developed a music player for pregnant women
    (C) reversed her opinion on classical music
    (D) patented the term Mozart effect
       
           
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  Answers : 1) D    2) C    3) A   
 
 
 
 
 

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Comprehension 1

 

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