Did you know that listening to pump-up music can make you more powerful? I have 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This” playing on repeat as I write this column, and let me tell you, it is doing wonders for my productivity. According to a new study, bass-heavy music not only boosts people’s confidence but also alters their behavior, making them act more assertively. The Bass is what makes us persuasive, authoritative, and competent. So let’s see the findings. Are you all ready for this?… Yeah!
[Related: Tough Week? This Playlist Will Help]
In the study “The Music of Power: Perceptual and Behavioral Consequences of Powerful Music,” 75 undergraduate students were looked at to see how music impacts physical and cognitive changes. The researchers, based at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Business, had study participants listen to three “high power” music pieces, with a lot of basses: “We Will Rock You” (Queen), “Get Ready for This” (2 Unlimited), and “In Da Club” (50 Cent), or three songs that had been deemed as “low power”: “Because We Can,” (Fatboy Slim), “Big Poppa” (Notorious B.I.G.), and “Who Let the Dogs Out” (Baha Men), a song so terrible I can barely type the title.
“What we found is when the song had higher bass in the music, that actually made them feel more powerful,” wrote the researchers. Dr. Adam Galinsky, who conducted the study, is a well-renowned authority in leadership, power, and decision-making. He graduated from both Princeton and Harvard – where he probably blasted Wu Tang Clan while preparing for finals.
In the study, one part had students fill in the missing letters for a word, P_ _ ER. The students listening to high-power songs mostly chose POWER over PAPER which is what low-power listeners selected.
The researchers gave the students a chance to win $5 by correctly guessing which number would come up when a die was rolled. They could either roll it themselves or have the researchers do it for them. People who listened to low-power music were much less likely to want to roll the dice themselves—they didn’t crave control, even with a $5 stake. On the other hand, those exposed to high-power tunes felt confident rolling their dice.
Not only did the researchers find that high-power songs significantly increased students’ self-confidence, but these students were also almost twice as likely to volunteer for activities such as leading a debate. “Importantly, this occurred even after music exposure was over and the amount of exposure was as short as three minutes,” the study reported.
Bottom line: Listening to thumping, bass-driven music will give you an advantage if you have an upcoming presentation, meeting, or interview. You’ll not only feel more in control, but you’ll think and act differently as well.
10 Ways to Get Your Bass On
1. Queen, “Another One Bites the Dust”
2. Yello, “Oh Yeah”
3. The Black Eyed Peas, “Boom Boom Pow”
4. War, “Lowrider”
5. Technotronic, “Pump Up the Jam”
6. Beastie Boys, “Shake Your Rump”
7. DJ Magic Mike, “Drop the Bass”
8. Collective Soul, “Shine”
9. Salt-N-Pepa, “Push It”
10. Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Give It Away”
This post is by Kathryn Drury Wagner and originally appeared on Careercontessa.com.